Fiji Time: 6:04 AM on Friday 9 October

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

No child beggars

Nasik Swami
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

THE Social Welfare Ministry has declared zero-tolerance towards child begging in Fiji.

From now onwards, children found to be used by the parents to beg would be taken into State custody immediately.

The ministry has set up an interagency taskforce comprising the police and the Health and Local Government ministries to ensure children are not exploited by their families.

In an interview, Social Welfare permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta said families who used their children to beg for money would not be tolerated.

"Basically, if you're taking children to the streets to beg, it means you cannot look after them," he said.

"There is now zero tolerance on child begging. We have started to take children off the streets and place them in State care.

"We will not hesitate to do that again as we are serious about the care and protection of these children."

Dr Koroivueta said a recent ministry survey revealed there were about half a dozen children begging for money on Suva's streets.

"Children are very innocent and vulnerable. Some of the children are breastfeeding and some are below the age of two and have no knowledge of what's happening around them."

Dr Koroivueta said a profiling exercise revealed some beggars were dropped off in the morning to beg and picked up in the evening.

"It is sad to see that some of these are children and people living with disabilities who are used to gain public sympathy.

"These are stories which were not revealed in the past but when you go behind the scene you will be able to find out the real stories.

"We have all the facts about them, where they stay, the kind of houses they live in, the number of family members and even any medical conditions they are faced with."

Dr Koroivueta said the ministry also found that parents who use their children to beg were owners of rental facilities in towns and had tenants paying them rent.

Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.61820.5992
JPY 57.328754.3287
GBP 0.30830.3003
EUR 0.42080.4088
NZD 0.72120.6882
AUD 0.65870.6337
USD 0.47500.4580



Exchange Rate updated on 8th October 2015

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Death classified as unnatural
  2. Ganilau a nominee
  3. McKee's with Fiji
  4. Big game
  5. Break-ins spark bid for private security
  6. Plan for 8-storey complex
  7. Duo get eight years each for rape
  8. Land reprieve aid
  9. Vanuabalavu Day Festival draws support
  10. 715 West teachers receive OHS, first aid training

Top Stories this Week

  1. Rugby outcry Monday (05 Oct)
  2. Fisherman has whale of a day Tuesday (06 Oct)
  3. Tired Wales march on after holding off feisty Fiji Friday (02 Oct)
  4. Man faces further charges of rape, indecent assault Friday (02 Oct)
  5. Family robbed, fear for lives Monday (05 Oct)
  6. Mum upset Wednesday (07 Oct)
  7. The murders and tragedies of Vatuwaqa Tuesday (06 Oct)
  8. FRCA duo sent home Wednesday (07 Oct)
  9. Sex offenders top list, taxpayers foot $15,660 per day Tuesday (06 Oct)
  10. Fiji thrash Uruguay 47-15 Wednesday (07 Oct)