Drug-Addicted Children Die in the Streets

Erhan, Sali and Femi are no longer alive. They all died of a heroin overdose during the last few months. They were 10, 11 and 13 years old. In Skopje, Macedonia, no institution gives help to children between 5 and 14 years, who are addicted to heroin and glue sniffing. These youngsters need medical and psychological help, but no institution is prepared to help them due to their age. Left on their own, they die on the streets.

Erhan died in the center of Skopje, at “Record” and was found by passers-by. Shortly after, Sali died near the city square, at “Mepso”. A syringe was found next to him. The children that we used to see in the center of Skopje every day, running after us with the words: “Auntie, give me 5 denars”, are not there anymore.

Reporters  Meri Jordanovska and Marija Mitevska  met Erhan exactly a year ago, in front of the entry of the City Trade Center in Skopje. He told them his New Year wishes, he counted to 10, that was what he knew, he told them what he wanted to do when he grew up.

– I want to have children, a house, to work…I would work anything, I would throw garbage for example, just to have money.

Erhan is not there anymore, he did not live to find a job, to have children and a house. At the same place now there are other children. They are the same age as Erhan and heroin addicts.

When the reporters asked them about the death of Erhan, Sali and Femi, they ran away. They were scared that they might be social workers who would take away custody from their parents.

Read Jordanovska’s and Mitevska’s follow-up on the investigation of Skopje’s drug-addicted children – Part 1 Part 2

Read the English translation