New anti-vagrancy law augments penalties against organized, forced begging

(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Anti-Vagrancy Unit at the Ministry of Social Development has arrested  130 people involved in human trafficking for begging during 2021, and referred them to the courts, in addition to tracking a total of 13,500 beggars, mostly children, according to the director of the unit’s director Maher Klobb.اضافة اعلان

Klobb said 7,981 children and 5,577 adults were seized in relation to forced begging.

The ministry’s figures showed an increase in the number of male child beggars compared to females, with the number of males reaching 5,983, and the females 2,061. Adult beggars amounted to 3,056 men and 2,548 women.

According to Klobb, the ministry implemented 13,558 anti-begging campaigns during 2021, the majority of which were in the northern region with 7,574 arrest campaigns in which 2,039 adult beggars and 5,535 children were exploited in begging, followed by the central region with 5,011 arrest campaigns in which 2,875 adult beggars, and 2,126 children beggars were tracked, while the number of campaigns in the southern region reached 983 campaigns, in which 663 beggars were arrested, 320 were children.

Amendments to the Human Trafficking Law approved in March 2021 listed the exploitation of children in organized beggary as a human trafficking crime.

The amendments empower judges to issue a prison sentence of 6 months to 5 years with temporary labor and impose a fine of JD3,000–JD10,000 on perpetrators.

Penalties are augmented in the event the victim of human trafficking was a child, woman or a person with disability, reaching up to seven years in prison with labor a fine of JD5,000–20,000.

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