A new bill will create a criminal offense for grooming a child into a life of crime.
It will see a max five-year jail term for people who coerce children into the sale and supply of drugs.
The law already provides for an adult who uses a child to commit a crime to be charged with that crime, but this will add an additional offense for grooming those children to commit the acts in the first place.
So in the case of dealing drugs, for example, there would be an offense for the supply of drugs by using a child and a separate offense for involving that child in the first place.
It would see a max five-year jail term on conviction by a jury.
The new law would apply where an adult compels, coerces, induces, or invites a child to engage in criminal activity.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee says the government needs to show that young people cannot be exploited for criminal ends, and that crime should not pass down through generations.