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Jakarta Post

Plight of shoeshine boys

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Thu, July 30 2009   /  09:38 am

It is not uncommon to see trials in which severe punishments are handed down for minor offences. This was the case befalling 10 shoeshine boys who were charged with gambling at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.What constituted their “crime” was betting on a game of heads-or-tails, and their punishment was one month’s imprisonment. During this their parents must have gone through hell. Some of the children also had to flush one year of elementary school education down the drain after missing their final school exams that took place while they were in custody in the first week of June. After committing their crime, the children were taken to the nearby police post and instructed to lie in the full sun at noon before being put behind bars. And they were detained alongside those held on more serious charges such as drug offences and theft, a horrible experience for minors. Just bef...