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No child should beg

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, June 16, 2014

MINISTER for Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni has reiterated government's call that child begging is against the law.

This is after concerned individuals raised the alarm on claims that some children were still being used by parents to beg in Lautoka City.

"We don't want any kind of child begging and that is something that all citizens in the country must know," said Dr Luveni.

Earlier this year, the ministry joined the Fiji Police Force to declare zero tolerance on child begging.

The ministry's permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta said it had become a concern that some families were using children for begging.

Establishing the Interagency Taskforce, the ministry has started removing child beggars from town and city streets.

"The taskforce is working with police to ensure that children are not exploited by their families to beg on the streets for money," he said.

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

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

The taskforce has been working towards finding a rehabilitation facility for beggars who are mentally challenged and homeless. Dr Koroivueta said these were people who were neglected by families.

Meanwhile, West police spokeswoman Naina Ragigia confirmed police officers in the Sugar City had been monitoring child beggars in Lautoka.

She said the police had been working closely with the ministry to ensure that children were not being used by parents to ask for money.

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