Wed | Dec 12, 2018

CDA working with parents to get beggar children off streets

Published:Friday | June 30, 2017 | 12:00 AM

With concerns increasing among members of the public about the safety of children who are seen on the streets begging, the Child Development Agency (CDA) says that it is working closely with families to remedy the issue.

"We have received reports from motorists about children on the streets begging, loitering, or selling, so we are trying to speak with their families about the dangers," Rosalee Gage-Grey, CEO of the CDA, told The Gleaner.

Noting that CDA officers are being dispatched to locations where child beggars and loiterers frequent, Gage-Grey said that this could yield good results.

"In some locations, we were successful. Children were willing to speak to us, and we were able to ascertain their addresses, visit, and speak to their parents and family members," she said.

The CDA head said that parents need to be reminded of their roles and responsibilities.

"We find that the message of child protection needs to be reinforced to parents and families, and as such, we are actively working on a child-protection campaign to be rolled out by August," Gage-Grey added.

Just last month, the CDA proposed changes to the law to ban children from being used to sell on streets or in markets.

Currently, the Child Care and Protection Act prohibits a person from using or allowing a child in his custody to beg, and parents or other adults can be prosecuted for breaching this.

- Myesha Broadie