HC Deb 15 March 2000 vol 346 c238W
Mr. Dawson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to deal with the problem of children being used for the purposes of begging; and if he will make a statement. [114723]

Mr. Hutton

We are very concerned about the exploitation of children, and are committed to ensuring that all children are safeguarded and protected from harm. The police can act to prevent children being used for begging under Section 4 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. Local authorities have a statutory duty under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 to make inquiries where they have reasonable cause for concern that a child may need protection.