CDA wants law banning children from selling on streets, markets
Jovan Johnson, Staff Reporter
The Child Development Agency (CDA) is proposing 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 their custody to beg and parents or other adults could be prosecuted.
But the CDA's Tanya Chambers says the law needs to be expanded to protect children from abuse and exploitation.
She made the submission this morning to a parliamentary committee reviewing Jamaica's sex offences laws.
In its submissions, the CDA said studies show that among minors deemed street children, many are used by their parents to sell goods at roadsides or markets.
The agency argued that children selling on the streets face many or the same risks as those who beg.
Some of the risks pointed out include abuse from motorists and pedestrians.
The agency also added that selling is used as a guise to beg.
Without the legal change, the CDA argued that the practice of using children to beg will not be fully curtailed.
Throughout the Corporate Area and across many town centres, children can be seen during weekdays and on weekends pushing handcarts with goods selling.
The latest government survey, conducted in 2002, indicated that an estimated 6,500 children live and work on Jamaica's streets.
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, who is chairing the committee, told the CDA to meet with the legal reform committee over the agency's recommendations.