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Fiji Time: 5:34 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Rise in child beggar a concern

Serelisoni Moceica
Monday, May 21, 2012

THE increasing incidence of child beggars in Suva streets has a non-governmental organisation calling for stronger actions to stop child begging in Fiji.

The Gift of Love for Children of Fiji campaign said the network had come across children begging on the streets who were used by older relatives to attract the sympathy of passers by.

"Children who beg are always a tough call for travellers, since it is natural to feel sympathy for them."

It said child beggars had more earning potential than adults and requested adults to refrain from giving money to children which sadly was encouraging the trend.

Social Welfare Ministry's spokesperson, Anshoo Chandra said a committee would be set up by the ministry and the police in the next few months to address the problem of child beggars.

"We signed a memorandum of understanding with the police as we cannot tackle these issues alone, so we're optimistic the committee will be able to take more action on child beggars, prostitution and other cases."