Child vendors detained for breaching law

Twenty-four child vendors have been taken into Police custody between 2016-2018 for breaking the Education Act.

The Education Act was passed by the Government 10 years ago to prevent children from selling products during school hours.

During a visit by child vendors and Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) Juniors to Police headquarters, Inspector Tologata Misieliota Tamaleaoa from the community engagement unit highlighted aspects of the law. 

“According to the law that was passed by our Government, children should be in school and if children are found selling items on the streets during school hours, they will be taken into police custody and warned,” he said.

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"The Ministry of Police has been working with the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (MESC) and the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development (MWCSD) to address the issue," added Tologata. 

“And so far in our records, we have taken into custody 24 child vendors, but we are not aware of the numbers collected by MESC and MWCSD.”

The policeman used the opportunity to talk to the children and the youth present on the importance of education, and how it can enable them to become a professional in life.

“If you want to be successful in the future, do not forget that education can help you achieve that goal whether you want to be a police officer or a fire fighter,” he added.

There are stiff penalties for breaching the Education Act, according to Tologata.

“If you are caught, you will be taken into police custody and we will have to investigate on who owns the products you are selling and find your family.

“The penalty for breaking the law: if your parents own the items then they will pay $1,000 tala and if a company employs you then they will be fined with $5,000 tala,” he said.

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