Thursday, March 26, 2009

Child abuse or entrepreneurial training?

Here a vendor-related question I never faced in New York: is it appropriate for children to be selling on the street? Its quite common to see youth, even younger than this girl, selling things on the side of the road -- and sometimes in the middle of the road, between lanes of stalled traffic. The whole topic is one that drives many childrens' advocates crazy.

Clearly these kids should be in school -- in fact there is a law here banning children from hawking during school hours.

But what about about after school, which is much more common? These youths are making extra money to help their very poor families -- nothing wrong with that. You often see teenage girls working alongside their mothers in the street markets, which I suppose is a good form of supervision/family bonding. And they must be learning some business skills, right?

I suppose it depends on how young the child, how many hours a week they are hawking, and what other after-school options they have. I'm not seeing a lot of ballet or karate schools around the neighborhood. And, unlike their American counterparts, these kids can't go home to watch TV and play video games.

1 comment:

  1. Here they are also very young kids selling between the cars. It is sad but in the other hand at the end the day they made few $$$ they need to go back home, buy food...
    Nice picture again!