AMERICA/MEXICO - 18,000 street children exploited and at risk of physical, psychological and sexual violence

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Mexico City (Agenzia Fides) - The phenomenon of street children in Mexico is particularly severe and complicated to solve. In fact, despite local institutions try to propose help both to young children and their families, it is often the parents who force children to continue to beg on the streets of the cities. According to estimates of the System for the Integral Development of the Family of the State of Mexico (DIFEM), in the country there are about 18,000 of these young victims, and the figure could rise due to social and family reasons. In a statement sent to Fides, by the head of DIFEM we read that the phenomenon is growing even when there are government programs that offer the opportunity for children to attend school and parents are offered work that allows them to have some economic income. However, despite these efforts the young continue to be exploited, they are sent to work in the streets, with the risk of suffering physical, psychological and sexual violence. According to experts there is the need to promote family integration and create additional sources of work to prevent minors from begging or doing any other kind of job. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 21/05/2013)