76% of beggars ‘own property, vehicles, or companies’

In this undated photo, a woman sits on the sidewalk with two children. (Photo: Jordan News)
In this undated photo, a woman sits on the sidewalk with two children. (Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — A new study released by the Ministry of Social Development says that 76 percent of people who practice begging for a living own property, vehicles, or companies.اضافة اعلان

According to the study, some 98 percent of beggars are healthy and 91 percent are capable of work, while 67 percent are illiterate.

Anti-vagrancy teams arrested 561 beggars during Ramadan, half of which were children, according to Maher Kloub, head of Anti-Vagrancy Unit.

Kloub told Al-Ghad and Jordan News that the Ministry of Social Development launched 340 anti-vagrancy campaigns during the holy month, in coordination with the Greater Amman Municipality and the Public Security Directorate.

“The ministry increases anti-vagrancy campaigns in Ramadan, since beggars take advantage of people’s emotions and their willingness to help during the holy month,” Kloub added.

The officials called on citizens to “leave their emotions aside, and make sure that help is given to those who really need it,” indicating that “most beggars are not actually impoverished.”

He also stressed the importance of raising social awareness on the reasons and impacts of begging, through awareness and media campaigns. 

Kloub also called for imposing stricter penalties on begging, particularly on those convicted of employing beggars for their own benefit, and amend the law regarding them, in a bid to curb the phenomenon.

He explained that women and children are being deployed to beg in public places, while being protected by their employers, and organized in terms of activity and gathering points.

Under an amendment to the Human Trafficking Law earlier this month, “organized begging” is now deemed a human trafficking crime.

The amendment to the Prevention of Human Trafficking Law for 2021 classifies “organized begging” as a punishable crime, for which offenders can face imprisonment for a period of no less than seven years, and a fine of no less than JD5,000.

According to Article 389 of the Penal Code, which prohibits vagrancy, a beggar is defined as “whoever behaves in a disorderly or indecent manner in a public place to beg or gather alms by any means whatsoever, or causing, procuring or encouraging any child under the age of sixteen years to do so.”

The article stresses that beggars who were arrested more than three times shall be imprisoned for a period not less than four months, and not exceeding one year, and fines shall not be accepted as a substitute. 

Read more National