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Wen throws support behind efforts to help child beggars

[ 2011-02-28 13:32]     字号 [] [] []  
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Civil affairs and public security departments have been urged to take comprehensive steps to help children who are begging on the nation's streets and are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, Premier Wen Jiabao said during his online chat with netizens on Sunday morning.

Wen said he has paid close attention to the ongoing micro blog campaign that calls on concerned netizens to post snapshots of children seen begging on the streets in the hope that police will be able to rescue abducted children and return them to their families.

Wen said there are many reasons why children sometimes turn to begging, including poverty and family issues but he said none of those children should be without care.

And while it is a complicated task to help and rehabilitate child beggars, he said increased public attention and joint intervention from different governmental organs will help end the problem.

His remarks were welcomed by Yu Jianrong, an initiator of the online campaign to crack down on child begging who is also a professor of rural development at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"It is a good thing that the country's top leader has pointed out that helping child beggars cannot be achieved without public participation," Yu told China Daily on Sunday.

The All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), a major governmental body that promotes the rights of women and children, also released a statement encouraging people to contact the police if they "find any suspect who abuses, organizes, forces or exploits juveniles to beg on the streets or possible cases of child abduction". The ACWF statement was reported by Xinhua News Agency at the weekend.

People can either call 110 and speak to the police or dial 12338 and connect with a hotline set up by the ACWF.

The micro blog campaign has gained considerable support from charities, celebrities and other social institutions since it was launched in late January.

One Foundation, a Shenzhen-based charity, set up a fund on Feb 19 for the establishment of a database for sharing information about missing children and to finance studies on effective intervention. So far, One Foundation has raised 720,000 yuan ($109,500).

Meanwhile, Shanghai Time Plastic Surgery Hospital has offered free plastic surgery to Ren Fangfang, an 8-year-old girl who suffered physical abuse at the hands of a man who bought her for 5,000 yuan so he could use her to beg for him three years ago, Shanghai-based Xinmin Weekly reported.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Wen throws support behind efforts to help child beggars

Wen throws support behind efforts to help child beggars

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.