They Call Themselves ”Street Lawyers”, and their Clients are Boys and Girls 6, 10, 14 ….
If you are desperately poor, 6 years old, and picked up by police in Baghdad for begging, who will come to your defense? We are not permitted to show their pictures and will use aliases but here is the story of two little brothers – we will call them Mohammed and Husam – who are 6 and 7 years old.
The brothers were recently picked up for begging. Yes, begging on the streets is illegal. Fortunately, because the team of street lawyers and social workers has developed a good working relationship with juvenile authorities, these cases get entrusted to their care.
Their story? Turns out Mohammed and Hussam are orphans. They lived with a poor uncle so when another relative offered to take them in, the uncle gave them up. Fast forward: Mohammed and Husam get picked up by police for begging and the street lawyers and social work team investigate their case.
It basically amounts to trafficking: the relative who took them in was exploiting them to beg on the streets. The social workers acted quickly, contacted the poor uncle, and the street lawyers arranged the boys’ release to return to his safe care.
With so many orphans, street kids, and children displaced by violence in Baghdad, our ability to be a loving and effective advocate for these children is limited only by the resources you help provide.