Sunday, February 11, 2007

Perspective: Child beggars proliferate in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, 11 February (IRIN) - Ahmed Saffar, 7, has been forced to beg on the streets of Baghdad in order to eat. An orphan with two brothers and one sister, Ahmed hangs around all day near a traffic light, asking for money from each driver who stops.

"Uncle, uncle, give me money to eat," is his most common opening line. "Sometimes they give me some money; sometimes, when I insist, they hit me. Women never help and the windows of their cars are always closed but old people are the best ones," Ahmed said.

"I have no option. I and my brothers work in the streets, begging in different places. I am the youngest but usually the one who makes more money. My sister is always with me and together we can make enough to eat by the end of the day," he added.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet