The Syrian Directorate of Social Affairs and Labour has recently arrested 500 beggars in Damascus.
Director of Social Affairs and Labour Mahmoud al-Damrani stated that the directorate referred the 500 detainees to the judiciary, mentioning the cooperation of the directorate with the Ministry of Interior in dealing with the issue of beggars, according to Tishreen newspaper.
Damrani said that the directorate’s office for combating begging detects a large number of beggary and homelessness cases on a daily basis and refers those to the judiciary, noting that “the problem is that the judiciary often releases them in two days’ time, after which they return to begging even after signing a pledge.”
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour held NGOs responsible for monitoring the situation of beggary and homelessness in their surroundings, and referring the cases they learn about through their hotlines to the directorate.
According to Damrani, the ministry is working to complete the building of homes and offices to combat begging in all Syrian governorates, and it is also coordinating with the Ministry of Interior to increase the fine for “those who beg as a profession or force children to do so.”
The ministry’s measures come at a time when more than 85% of Syrians live below the poverty line, according to United Nations statistics.
In June, the UN World Food Program estimated the number of Syrians suffering from food insecurity at 9.3 million, an increase of 1.4 million over the past six months.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.