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Child beggars up by 9%, according to ISPCC

The number of children seen begging in Dublin reaches 966 in 2009, with a further increase likely.

THE IRISH SOCIETY for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has reported that the number of children sighted begging on the streets of the country’s capital city has risen by 9% in the past year.

There were some 966 sightings of children begging in Dublin in 2009, an increase of 79 on the number of sightings in 2008, according to the ISPCC’s Leanbh service.

Children from Roma and Traveller families were most likely to be sighted begging, with a noted number of homeless children also sighted on the streets.

The Irish Times notes that the numbers have, however, fallen considerably since Leanbh was founded in 1997-1998. In its first annual report from that time, the agency reported 2,872 sightings of childn beggars.

Leanbh’s manager Adriana Fechete told the Times that the organisation had noted an increase in what it called “seasonal begging”, with many families apparently seeing begging as the only way to raise money coming up to the start of the school year or the Christmas season.

Others seen begging with babies were not necessarily doing so because it was seen as ‘easier’ to raise money when with a child, Fechete added, but because many were unable to find someone to watch their child – or could not afford to leave it in the care of someone else.

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