Case of a child being abused and coerced into begging by parents: challenges, approaches and risks [Case discussion in Bosnian]

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A recording of a six-year-old girl from 2014 (when she was four years old) shows her begging and on the being abused and coerced by her parents into begging streets of Sarajevo (data by Mobile Team for prevention of the begging of the public institution Centre for social work of the Sarajevo Canton)

The young girl is living in a settlement near to the Old Town municipality, with her mother and father who are alcoholics and drug addicts.

This family has been long known to the Center for Social Work (CSW) as problematic. The girl’s mother has been recorded by the CSW before, when she was in a previous marriage, from which she has three children: two boys and a daughter who is now over 18 years old (legally considered an adult). All of the children are registered by CSW. The children from her first marriage are not living in the same household with their mother and her new husband.

The mother, in 2011, entered into a common-law marriage with I.K., with whom she has a six-year old girl S.K.  Father, I.K., was registered as a drug user and has been seen to spend considerable amounts of time with individuals who are prone to the use of alcohol and drugs. All of these negative actions have taken place in the presence of the child.

The police already know all these individuals because two years ago the CSW carried out an intervention and a measure was issued – it was a measure of warning to the parents for neglecting and abusing the girl.

After undertaking the intervention and further intensive work with the parents (providing psychosocial support to the family and exercising the right to social protection for the minor S. K.) it was noted that the child was again spending time on the street for begging with unknown people. Due to that, the Mobile team for the prevention of begging, together with CSW, ruled that the girl S.K. is to be moved away from the family and placed in a children's home.

After continued work on this case - followed by the consideration of the girl’s entire family situation, work with the parents, providing kindergarten services (kindergarten for S. K. so that she can stay in the daycare while her parents work). The CSW team decided after two months of S.K.’s placement in a children’s home that S.K. is to be placed under the guardianship of her older adult half-sister, under the supervision of the Mobile Team for the Prevention of begging.

Six-year old S.K. should now be enrolling into primary school. However, there is information from citizens that the girl is again on the street, her parents still consuming alcohol and drugs, and that they are again abusing the girl into begging.


Date and time for case discussion: 
22 Mar 2016 - 11:00am
Learning points: 
  • The intervention need to be directed to the child/girl - CSW need to do outreach work;
  • Mobile team for prevention of begging need to find a girl and to officiallyrecord that this child is again caught in begging
  • The intervention need to be directed to the parents also;
  • CSW supervision and provided support was without results with this family, so parents need to be directed to the Institute for the treatment of alcoholism and drugs
  • Explore possibilities to include the Department of Mental Health
  • Six-year girl again removed from the family no matter that her legal guardian is her adult sister - taking into consideration the best interest of the child
  • School enrolment – girl must be enrolled in a primary school
  • Include all relevant institutions




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