“When you purchase from a child that is vending, you are part of the problem, and you are part of the exploitation of that child and if you throw a dollar in a child’s outstretched hand you are part of the problem, you are part of his exploitation”.
Those were the sentiments shared by the Director of the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA), Ann Greene at the Agency’s head office on Charles and Broad Streets, Georgetown on Monday during one of the initial events being hosted to observe Child Protection Week.
Her statements came after being questioned by this publication about the recent increase in children vending water and other items at stop lights.
According to the Director, such activities should not be condoned by sympathetic persons, since it will only result in the action being continued rather than being resolved.
She said too that it only supports the exploitation of the child, since many times those monies are taken away from the children by their parents.
“People should not (buy from those children), what people should do is link them to the services (CPA), like talk with them, find out what is happening and tell them where they can come…if you stop (giving or buying from them) you become part of the solution and not problem…but don’t keep giving children money or purchase from children who are vending. We would never get it to stop,” she informed.
Greene reminded that children vending is illegal as well as children begging, and they ought not to be on the streets but in school. She explained that children who are on the streets become vulnerable since they endanger their lives while running to a person’s vehicle, in a mere attempt to help their parents or guardians put food on the table.
According to her, such matters should be reported to the CPA, which can result in action being taken against the parents or guardians which have happened before.
She said the purpose of the CPA is to investigate matters such as these and help children who are in need. Greene said while she understands poverty is a sore area which often results to these things, it is not a child’s duty to help parents earn an income.