Ping-pong of responsibilities in case of women who take children to beg with them

The authorities shift responsibilities when they are asked about the women who take the children to beg with them in the street, exposing them thus to different dangers. The central authorities say the responsibility is borne by the local authorities. The latter expect the police to notify them, while the police say this is not within their competence.

Angela Ganea, service head at the Chisinau Child Rights Protection Division, stated for IPN that the police must take steps when they see children begging or women beginning with babies in their arms. They must take them to police stations, write reports and present them to the child rights protection authorities.

Chisinau Police Division spokesman Adrian Jovmir said that under the law, the police do not have the right to arrest or penalize begging persons. When asked why they take the children with them to beg, the women say they do not have where to leave them. The social protection is the responsibility of those who take decisions as regards the depriving of persons of their parental rights. “We are not empowered to take the children away from these women and to lodge them at specialized centers,” said Jovmir.

Sources in the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family said the local social protection services are in charge of this segment and must prevent the exposure of children to certain risks.

Before the implementation of the new Police Law, the Ministry of the Interior included a temporary placement center for minors that was located in Chisinau. It was closed. The municipality is trying to reopen it, but this center is intended for children taken from the street, not to mother-child couples.

According to the municipal authorities, in 98% of the cases the women who beg in Chisinau with babies in their arms come from the districts of Nisporeni, Criuleni, Straseni, and Calarasi. The women come to Chisinau in the morning and go home in the evening or live in rented dwellings in Chisinau and earn money for a living by begging. They beg even when it is very cold or very hot. The authorities weren’t informed about cases when begging women took foreign children with them.

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