Karimun, Riau Islands. The Karimun district government declared that it will jail any parents who force their children to beg for money, shine shoes or sell newspapers in the street.
“We’ll give them two weeks,” Mitrayati, the head of the Karimun district branch of the Woman’s Empowerment and Child Protection Agency, said on Friday, as quoted by Republika.co.id.
“If they’re still hanging around, the parents of the children will be taken to jail in accordance with the Law on Child Protection”
She added that the district would provide free education and medication to eradicate the presence of street children.
“There’ll be no reason for parents to force their children onto the street,” she said. “They should be at school, since such costs will be covered by the local government.”
While dozens of street children are still seen in Tanjung Balai Karimun, Mitrayati said that they would be handled by the Social Agency and the Public Order Agency.
Hurnaini, the head of the Social Agency’s Karimun district branch, noted that the organization would continue to get kids off the street in order to reach its target of eradicating the problem completely by 2013.
“A team of workers will observe and supervise kids to make sure they’re actually at school instead of hanging out in the street,” Hurnaini said.