Dalyne Fahd, the director of social affairs and labour in Damascus, confirmed a significant increase in beggars in the city. The rise is attributed to poverty, limited job opportunities, the economic crisis, war, and displacement. Many individuals resort to begging as an effortless means of earning money.
Fahd emphasized that family disintegration is responsible for the homelessness of children who engage in begging and scavenging through garbage containers. She explained that some beggars refuse to stay in residence centers due to their preference for the unstructured and chaotic lifestyle they experience on the streets and in parks. Moreover, the income generated from begging incentivizes them to view it as a permanent profession.
A large number of children can be observed digging through scattered containers in Damascus neighbourhoods, collecting plastic and other materials to sell to recyclers. This practice brings financial returns to the children and contributes to the growing prevalence of begging as a means of income generation.
Regardless of the justifications put forward by the official, the regime cannot evade its responsibility to safeguard children and prevent them from resorting to begging. The accommodation centers, lacking essential amenities such as heating and adequate educational staff, fail to provide the basic necessities of life. Moreover, there are reports of mistreatment towards the children.
Tragically, a child lost their life in a traffic accident while begging in Damascus, yet no statement was issued by those accountable for ensuring the safety of children. This silence suggests a disregard for the lives of these vulnerable individuals as if their well-being falls outside the purview of their responsibilities.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.