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Child Welfare Programme to prevent the use of children for begging.

The Child Welfare Programme is aimed at the families of travellers who accompany the fair with the objective of preventing situations of marginalization which can often lead to the use of children for financial gain, a situation which is seen to have been on the increase at the Fair in recent years.

The Welfare, Equality and Health Department wishes to avoid the practice of begging by the under-age and by adults who exploit them. The aim is to educate the general public with regard to how to respond when faced with this type of child abuse.

Jerez Town Council, working closely with the Departments of Welfare, Equality and Health, Environment and Sport, Tourism, Culture and Festivals, Town Planning, and Housing and Infrastructure, has developed, with the collaboration of the National and Local Police forces, a Child Welfare Programme for Travellers which focuses not only upon the supervision of the site where the families camp, but also organises activities for the children living there.

The aim of this joint action is to permit the detection of situations where children may be at risk and at the same time guarantee travellers' children access to the right to education; with the aim of avoiding exposure to dangerous situations which could put the children at risk.

The Town Council has run an appeal by means of a campaign in local publications and media to increase awareness of the responsibility we all share when faced with situations of vulnerability for children, and in particular to make the families of travellers aware of the harm they may be causing to their children if they subject them to begging and exploitation.

The main objective of the programme is therefore to prevent exploitation and guarantee children's rights during the Horse Fair. The parents of these children know that Jerez offers them its solidarity, providing infrastructures (electricity, water, toilet facilities, rubbish containers, etc...) but in return they must guarantee their expressed commitment that their children will not beg or sell at the Fair.