Child Beggars in Bulgaria's Capital 'Numbering 400'
Over 400 children can be found begging in the streets of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, data from the Sofia Municipality has shown.
The figures have been registered during the Mobile Work with Children in the Street project launched at the Municipality in 2010, according to the information cited by the Bulgarian daily Monitor.
Thirty-six children have been saved from begging since the beginning of this year, with five of them currently accommodated in orphanages, Monitor reports.
It quotes social workers, who explain that "a vast part" of kids caught begging were forced by their parents to do so.
As an "interesting" detail they point that most of the children falling into that category are not from minority groups, but rather Bulgarians.
"[Some kids] admitted they had occasionally earned over 1000 monthly from begging. The money was taken away by their parents. Children were just glad they were not hungry. Their relatives however did not give them too many titbits lest they put on too much weight and stop arousing pity," social workers added.
Most of the child beggars are concentrated in Sofia's downtown regions such as Sredets, Lozenets and Triaditsa.