Concern over children selling food at night

THE Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is concerned about the welfare of children selling food late at night in Suva City.

Minister Mereseini Vuniwaqa said they would only interfere if the children were neglected by their parents or guardians.

She said if the work they were engaged in fell under the category of child labour, then the Ministry of Employment would have to deal with the cases.

However, she said, her ministry would work with other stakeholders if the children were neglected by their families and were at risk.

“As you know, our child services unit looks after children who have been neglected by their families,” she said.

“So if there is an element of neglect, that’s when we come in.”

Ms Vuniwaqa said the Education Ministry would also look into the issue to ensure students were in school and not roaming the streets selling food or asking for money.

“The Ministry of Education will be looking at it from the perspective of the fact that these students need to be in school instead of being on the streets.

“So the ministry has a role to play but we work in a co-ordinated approach to make sure that at the end of the day, the best treatment is given to the child.”

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