Child begging as a manifestation of child Labour in Dagbon of Northern Ghana, the perspectives of mallams and parents
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionChildren and Youth Services Review. 2020, 111, 104836 10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.104836
The existence of begging in Ghana is a historical phenomenon. In the past, it was interpreted in religious and geographical terms where the beggars in the capital city of Accra were said to be destitute Muslims coming from the northern sector of Ghana due to the poverty situation in the area. This study looks at the position of Islam on begging. It also highlights good ways of raising a child in Dagbon and why parents send their children to beg. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were used to explore the perspectives of mallams and parents regarding child begging in Dagbon and data were also collected through participant observation. Our study shows that there was a dichotomy of opinions between clergy participants (who stated that Islam does not support begging) and the parent participants (who believed Islam supported begging). The practice of child begging in Dagbon differs from how it is practiced elsewhere in West Africa. The role of the secular Ghanaian government regarding child begging, in spite of laws on compulsory education and a ban on child labour, is largely absent.