Some existing beggars exploit children into child prostitution, abuse and other crimes.
So said Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta.
The government has now vowed to ensure that children and disabled people are not exploited as part of efforts to address begging in Fiji.
According to Koroivueta the two groups as well as other vulnerable people were being used as emotional ransom to lure the public into giving them money.
“Some existing beggars exploit children into child prostitution, abuse and other crimes,” Dr Koroivueta said.
“We have also received confirmation that there are some children who actually don’t belong to the beggars and are yet used in begging to get the public sympathy.
“The ministry will bank on the support of the police and municipalities to address this issue and this move will complement the social welfare’s reform that empowers the disadvantaged individuals and families into workfare and helps them to break free from the hand out mentality,” he said.