Officials from the Bali provincial government have confirmed that the number of children who are begging on the streets has surged since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
Bali Vice Governor, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (Cok Ace) stated that the current economic crisis in Bali has caused huge numbers of families to lose their jobs and started to lose their ability to be financially stable and provide basic necessities. This situation has also affected children, as many of them have been forced by their parents to start working in order to help their family survive.
“According to our data, the unemployment rate in Bali has increased from previously 1.2% to 5.6% as of December 2020.” Cok Ace said on Thursday (28/10) in Denpasar. He also believes that the number has potentially surged in 2021 as the tourism sector hasn’t recovered from the current pandemic. He was concerned that many of those children have stopped learning at school as they usually spend an entire day on the streets begging for food and money.
“Most of these kids are supposed to be in elementary school, I’m confused why their parents don’t send them to the public school even though it’s free.” Cok Ace added. However, he admitted that this problem began even before the Covid-19 struck, so he has urged related institutions to begin an investigation to prevent an exploitation practice. “Someone must have forced them to beg on the streets, so we need to solve this problem and find who is responsible for those children.” Cok Ace concluded.
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