Children from Armenian orphanages are being engaged in forced begging, Naira Zohrabyan, head of the opposition Prosperous Armenia Party parliamentary faction, said at the National Assembly on Wednesday, May 27, calling on Armenian Ombudsman Karen Andreasyan to deal with this issue.
“They take the kids and turn them into beggars for a day wage. You can see such kids on, for example, Abovyan Street. I have personally seen a 5-year-old child engaged in begging alongside a woman. When I asked the child whether the woman was his mother, he replied 'No, I'm from an orphanage',” Zohrabyan said.
According to the MP, she has asked this question to a number of other child beggars, and they have all given the same answer.
When asked by journalists why she was not applying to the Prosecutor's office, Zohrabyan said that she had already informed the Ombudsman. “These matters should be dealt with by the Human Rights Defender's office and law enforcement agencies," the MP added.