Three girls begging now under the care of The Ministry of Social Development.

2. 3 girls begging
Forced begging can now be classified as human trafficking. (Photo: JNews)
AMMAN — Three girls are now under the care of the Ministry of Social Development and Dar Karama, a shelter for victims of human trafficking, after allegedly being forced into illegal begging on Mecca Street. The case is considered the first example of panhandling classified as human trafficking. اضافة اعلان

The situation was bought to the ministry's attention through a social media post and a call from a concerned citizen announcing three young girls on a sidewalk in Mecca street present till late at night. 

In a press release on Monday, the ministry stated that the girls were allegedly being forced into the organized crime of panhandling from evening till dawn by their father. He is now being held and waiting to be prosecuted.

The ministry revealed that the father lives in a neighboring governorate outside of Amman and comes to the capital to force the girls to work.

The girls appeared before a juvenile judge who placed them in a specialized home for six months. The home is intended to protect victims of human trafficking, where educational and psychological services will be provided.

The current Anti Human-Trafficking Law carries a sentence between six months and 10 years and a fine for the forced labor of children.

Mecca Street is a prominent area in Amman where organized begging is prevalent. Organized begging is defined as forcing others to beg at assigned locations to solicit money from bystanders, which the operation’s leader subsequently collects.

A source at a corner shop in the restaurant strip of Mecca Street told Jordan News that Thursday is the busiest day for the strip, which is when begging is at an all-time high and security is at a low.

Another source at Pronto Italian Restaurant on Mecca Street said that “they're always around the busiest days, and it's really sad because they're so young.

One girl is a regular, but we can't do anything to stop it except call security, but she comes back. She comes into the restaurant and asks for JD2, or else she'll make a scene.”

Both Dar Karama and the Social Development Ministry declined to comment on an open investigation.

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