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Strengthen social services in Budget

By RHONDOR DOWLAT Monday, August 20 2007

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PROTECT THE CHILDREN: Chairman of Operation Rescue Street Children, Dwarika Boodoosingh....
PROTECT THE CHILDREN: Chairman of Operation Rescue Street Children, Dwarika Boodoosingh....

DWARIKA BOODOOSINGH, Chair-man of Operation Rescue Street Children, made an urgent plea to Prime Minister Patrick Manning to remember street children in his Budget presentation 2007/2008 in Parliament today at 1.30 pm.

Boodoosingh claimed that presently, there are 18 children living on the streets of Port-of-Spain, many of whom have been abused both sexually and physically by adults.

“There is a significant number of children living on the streets and it seems nobody cares about them,” Boodoosingh said.

“We need to have a permanent place to put these children so they can be fed, counselled and nurtured. Most homes take them in but send them back out on the streets at the age of 16. We don’t need those kind of homes because they are not helping the situation,” he added.

Street children who range from the age of three to seventeen spend their days begging. At nights, they go to any of the parks in and around the city, including Victoria Square and other open spaces, where they huddle together for warmth as well as protection from sex predators.

This country signed the World Declaration for the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in 1990.

Boodoosingh challenged Manning to make provisions for the street children and homeless in the Budget especially since one of the areas expected to receive significant funding in the Budget, is social services.

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