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February 13, 2014
Star News


KIDS RENTED TO DO BEGGING - Mothers collect $500 for use of each child

Diandra Grandison, Staff Reporter

While going about your daily business, you may have been approached by a woman who appears needy with one or two small kids begging you money to feed them.

You may have also observed that over the years, the same woman throughout the town begging, but her children seem to never age, causing you to speculate the frequency at which she bears children.

THE STAR has learnt that in some cases the infants we see begging with these women do not belong to them, but instead were rented for a minuscule fee.

Information reaching THE STAR is that in some inner city communities, some parents rent their children to these 'beggar-women' as a means of earning money.

The infants are used as a ploy to gain sympathy from unsuspecting persons, in hopes of them giving them cash.

A resident of Maxfield Avenue, St Andrew, where a woman who rents her kids resides, told THE STAR that it is a 'business,' which has been going on for years and is well known throughout their community.

"Most of these women can't read and write which makes it difficult for them to get a work, so the easy way out is for them to take the money from renting their kids."

The resident also told THE STAR that the parents are usually paid between $500 to $1,000 per child ranging from a few months old to three years old.

THE STAR spoke with a senior officer at the Hunt's Bay Police Station to find out if he was aware of this practice of renting kids. he stated, "I cannot confirm that, but I will not say it's not happening."

An officer at the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) told THE STAR that although they have never received reports about children being rented, they have taken persons found using children to beg to court.

"It is a crime to use children to solicit money on the street. I've heard of people using kids, but not aware of them renting," she said.

The officer also told THE STAR that if caught, the adult can be charged with 'cruelty to child' and 'causing a child to beg' and can face two years in prison.

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