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WASHINGTON: Like many commuters in metropolitan areas, the path to public transportation is the same. Coming and going. Recently there has been a noticeable change in Washington DC, especially around the metro stations. Women Begging by new mothers, holding an infant in one hand, the other outstretched seeing your coins.

The people passing without paying attention as to why these women, holding infants, are begging for money for food and shelter in a county full of wealth and opportunity.

It is third world country version and it applies to the U.S.

In their article Keep the Change – giving money to child beggars is the least generous thing a tourist can do, writer Jillian Keenan shares the damage that the “begging gangs,” children captured, often maimed and forced to beg for a meager existence, cause. Keenan is speaking mostly about children from third world countries, but, she notes, the begging gangs are in the U.S. as well.

“And it’s not just India. According to one U.S. State Department report, a man in Shenzhen, China, can earn as much as $40,000 per year by forcing enslaved children to beg. Horrific examples of trafficking in children (and the elderly) for the purposes of organized begging have been found in countries all over the world: Bolivia, the PhilippinesBangladeshSenegalPakistan—even Austriaother European countries, and the United States. No country is immune to human trafficking. And when trafficked children get too old to beg effectively, they often graduate into forced prostitution, the black-market organ trade, or other gruesome fates.”

Begging Gangs science of emotion

They target your emotions. It is that simple. You see a woman without shoes, torn and old clothes holding a dirty baby who looks unfed. These women willingly or unwillingly are the public face of the begging gangs. The children, on the other hand, may be stolen. They are infants, mostly, children who are hard to identify because they are too young.  None of the children are more than four or fives years old.

The children look tired, at least to your eyes. Fact is, a majority of these children are drugged. This way they sleep, offering not trouble to the women who carry them. Unfortunately, they often do not attract attention from shop owners to passer-by.

But are these legitimate cases of need?

In the pictures above, you see numerous women standing on a single street in Washington DC. As I frequently pass by this street, I began noticing that the same child, but in the arms of different women. Unbelievably, in some cases, the mother and child are not of the same ethnicity. Also, their cardboard missive often has the same message “Mother of 2 BABY” emphasizing the word baby with bold, capital letters.

Notice the young girl with what appears to be a newborn infant in the feature image? Though the faces are blurred by the editors, the child has little resemblance to the girl in the shape of its face and features.

This situation is not unique to this city and state. A simple Google reveals this is a trend in large cities.

This is just another arm of child and sex trafficking

Authorities have to find a way to help these people. Women rights groups need to act, and child protection agencies have to step in to assist the mothers and provide shelter to the children. If these children are in fact not related to the females holding them, the children must be identified and reunited with their families.

As Keenan writes in her article:

“But the reasons to never, ever give to child beggars go much deeper than that. Organized begging is one of the most visible forms of human trafficking—and it’s largely financed and enabled by good-hearted people who just want to help.”

Once alerted to this situation, it is hard to just walk by. For those that are legitimate without the most basic resources, we should act fast to stop poverty. For those who may be in a trafficking ring, or begging gang, we must give some hope to these children who are the future of our country.


Author: ShiaSentinel

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