The Rwanda National Police has warned that it will hesitate to imprison parents, guardians and anyone who compel children to go begging in the streets, reports KT Press.
A prison sentence of three years awaits those with the ‘bad habit’ and committing the act since it is a crime charged by the law.
“At different hotspots in Kigali and other upcountry towns, it has become a habit to find street beggars – mostly children and women, either grabbing passengers in bus parks or storming meeting places to beg for money or food,” says the report.
In a statement issued by Rwanda National Police on Monday, they will crack down on Rwandans inciting children into this practice.
Article 691 of the Organic law n° 01/2012 of 02/05/2012 instituting the penal code states that any person who uses, encourages, takes or incites a child to beg, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of one year to two years. If the child used in begging has a physical or mental disability, the term of imprisonment shall be three (3) years.
According to the police the children sent out to beg not only suffer early cognitive issues, but also face serious attacks.
There is an influx of street children across Kigali’s infamous spots such as Nyabugogo main bus park. The park has more than 20 children – as young as 7-11 year-old.