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obvious that most parents and some teenage girls engage in early sex when they are not ready and thus give birth to unhealthy babies. These babies do not sometimes live for long.

They sometimes die because of bad weather and malnutrition. They are sometimes attacked by all kinds of diseases . Some of these irresponsible parents who give birth to such children sometimes force them onto the streets to beg for money. The boys among them take to the street life of smoking, drinking, stealing etc. A lot do end up in jail.

In order to stop all these, first of all, a national law must be passed reemphasizing the abolition of child labour and street hawking by children of school going age. In addition, the Department of Social Welfare should come to the rescue of school dropouts by offering them vocational training in areas like kente weaving, carpentry, catering etc.

I belive strongly that once these hawkers and street children acquire such skills, the incidence of street hawking will reduce. Furthermore the Family Planning Agencies must sit parents down and teach them how to plan their families. Finally, I believe that if parents, who force their valuable children into hawking are prosecuted and punished, the practice of teenage hawking and its attendant street children will be reduced .

It is my hope that teenage hawking and child labour would be

These days it is very common to set eyes on teenagers and street children roaming the city streets selling all kinds of items ranging from sweets to dog chains, from dog chains to apples and lots of other things. They apparently sell these things in order to earn a living.

It has been noticed that a good number of hawkers are pushed into hawking not by their wish but by certain circumstances, perhaps, beyond their control.

One group of teenagers engaged in hawking are school dropouts, who find hawking as a ready means of earning their livelihood.

The second group of teenager hawkers are those from poor homes who are forced by their parents to engage in hawking as a means of supplementing their families' income.

The third group of hawkers are those who migrate from the rural areas to the cities in search of non-existing jobs and take to hawking as the only means of earning a living.

The dangers involved in teenage hawking are very obvious. Apart from the risk of getting knocked down by moving vehicles, there is also the possibility of teenagers getting involved in immoral practices. For example, teenage girls, especially those who hawk from door to door, may be lured into sexual acts by unscrupulous men in return for money, thus leading to teenage pregnancy, which eventually ruins the victims future.

The street child issue has also become one of the major problems the country is facing today. It is

mariyn baidoo
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