Manasseh  Gowk International Recruitment Officer, PFL Education Ghana
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Manasseh Gowk International Recruitment Officer, PFL Education Ghana

Researcher, Association of Poetry and Solidarity, Italy. Extreme Dilemmas of Child Migration and Child Neglect in Ghana: An Endemic Proliferation of Child Beggary - Impact on Child Health. Objective .


Manasseh Gowk International Recruitment Officer, PFL Education Ghana

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Manasseh GowkInternational Recruitment Officer, PFL Education GhanaResearcher, Association of Poetry and Solidarity, Italy

Extreme Dilemmas of Child Migration and Child Neglect in Ghana: An Endemic Proliferation of Child Beggary - Impact on Child Health


Objective To challenge and promote efficacious health policies within Ghana to safeguarding migrant child health and wellbeing


Overview of PresentationBackground of Study Triggers of Child Beggary

Dystopia of the migrant children of Niger: An EyesoreHealth Cases of Child Beggars in GhanaApprehensions and ConcernsFindings


Background of Study

Undocumented child migration and child health neglect is increasing at an alarming rate in West Africa (Charrière & Frésia,2008)Although there is appreciable media coverage on child migration and child neglect, there is less humanitarian action and workable policy implementation by government to end the proliferation of child beggary in Ghana (


-Abraham, 2018; see also Beggars & Destitute Act, 1969 – N.L.C.D 392)

There is the need for an accelerated research on migration-related health issues on child migrants in Ghana’s cities and their concomitant implemental resolutions in the wake of the salient Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Lee et. al., 2017)

Child beggary is a grey area of modern research in Ghana, with little methodological approach


Migrant Children Route into Ghana


Alarming Rates of Child Beggary in GhanaChild beggary in Ghana has become:

a venture for revenue generation for some parents a canker that receives less or no workable humanitarian actions to halt itParents migrate along with children aged 4yrs to 14yrs from rural areas within Ghana and largely from West Africa countries like Niger, Chad, Mali and Nigeria to engage them in beggary on the streets of Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi – the 3 major cities in Ghana (


, 2018)

Throngs of Nigeriens kids traveling into Ghana are:

trained and supervised by parents and elder siblings for the beggary trade (cite)


Child Migrant - Zenab


Triggers of Child BeggaryPoverty resulting from unemploymentSingle-parenting

ImpunityLazy parents


Trained Beggars with Parents as Teachers: A Festering Dilemma, A Public Spectacle Burgeoning of West African migrant child beggars in Ghana

Sheer parental callous maltreatment of their wardsOver-reliance on children to fend for family by capitalizing on public empathy and Ghanaians soft spot for child beggars

An apparent profitable venture for parents as long as children are under their guardianship or as long as extant child right laws do not forbid or penalize them for their insensate indulgence of children.


Dystopia of the Migrant Children of Niger: An EyesoreBackground of Nigerien migrant children

Immigrant child beggars from Niger (the Fulani kids) have increased over the last 3 years in Ghana (Peace FM, 2017)Juveniles from these countries trek miles on foot and others by road into Ghana to ply their beggary trade (The Chronicles, 2017). Children must provide daily income for parents at the detriment of their health.

Nigerien juvenile beggars often reside in slums where health condition are debilitating; child rape and abuse is rife (Ghana News Agency, 2016).


Health Cases of Child Beggars in GhanaPhysical Health Malnourished

They spend the day begging in the hot sun with little or no food.Even when they eat, it is unbalanced diet

Fatal injuries resulting from

traffic collision causing deformities like broken or severed limbs or toes

heatstroke and sunburns

physical abuse esp. from parents; kidnapping and rape, ailments such as malaria and cholera

Mental Health

Parental abuse of children emotionally

Rape and molestation in camps and slums leave juvenile beggars traumatized


Apprehension and CONCERNSThere is the fear or concern that poverty-stricken homes will become susceptible to the temptation of compelling their wards to join in the beggary because it is lucrative With the alarming rates of child beggary in the 3 most busiest cities in Ghana, there is the little or no record of migrant Nigerien child beggars in the other 7 regions who have suffered health problems or have no assess to healthcare

Growing xenophobia among Ghanaians may trigger harsh maltreatment of the Nigerien child migrants


Case Studies – Sample Quotes

“I lost my toes in a motor accident fending for my family as a beggar – you have to pretend to be healthy so your parents don’t flog or insult you. I have come to accept my fate. The hospitality in Ghana is what brings us happiness”

“ After losing my leg in the course of begging on the streets, my parents feel my current ordeal will help me make more money begging. I sometimes feel weak and tired”


Preliminary Findings – Evolving ThemesMost child beggars inherit this livelihood from parents and older siblings who benefitted from prolonged beggary in Ghana. Medical health education and health implementation programs by NGOs, humanitarian and migration agencies in Ghana are mostly geared at maternal health, HIV/AIDs, TB, cancer and Hepatitis education and eradication, drug abuse, blood donation, adolescent health; these campaigns are rarely extended to child beggars in Ghana.


Findings ContinuedRecognition of child migrants amongst the ‘hardest to reach’ due to parental restriction to grant interviews or aid investigations - need for a multidimensional approach (Terre des Hommes – OHCHR, 2015)

Unlike other child migrants from Nigeria, Chad and Mali, the Nigerien child migrants integrate better into Ghanaian society due to their ability to learn and speak the local language (Twi) and English as well as pidgin faster and fluently. This ability provides a leverage for them to engaging pedestrians or commuters during their solicitation. In reducing the adverse effects on their health, this relationship must be prioritized and utilized (Amoah & Jorgensen, 2014) to understand their health needs.


Findings continued While efforts have been made to understand the ordeal of these migrants kids, information given by these children are largely unreliable – juvenile beggars are warned by parents not to disclose facts about themselves or their parents.

Political stability and public hospitality is a strong incentive for parents to migrate into Ghana to engage their vulnerable wards into the despicable trade.


Future ApproachAdopting an all-inclusive migrant children health promotion action plan by a civil-led steering team of social workers, NGOs, migration agencies like IOM, religious, policy-makers groups as well as journalists.

AimTo develop a pragmatic working document that elaborates a strategic approach to protecting the rights of Nigerien child beggars by demanding the utmost intimate collaboration of government(s) through stringent policy execution to clamping down migrant child beggary and promoting migrant child assess to healthcare in Ghana.