A specialized committee within the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour is in the process of drafting legislation to address the issue of begging in Syria. Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Louay al-Munajjid, affirmed the complexity of the beggary problem during a meeting of the small committee dedicated to preparing the draft law. He emphasized the need for a comprehensive legal and legislative framework to counteract the longstanding and evolving challenges associated with begging. The minister acknowledged that the challenges had been further compounded by the impact of war, exacerbating the phenomenon.
Munajjid highlighted the necessity of a robust law that serves as a deterrent, preventing the depletion of resources in addressing beggary effectively. He elaborated on the importance of the draft, calling for specific descriptions for each involved party to allocate roles and responsibilities. The proposed mechanism involves expanding the team of experts and collaborating with non-governmental organizations actively engaged in beggary-related initiatives. The goal is to gather comprehensive insights and formulate a preliminary plan for public discussion across all governorates. Subsequently, the draft will be enriched through dialogue and returned to the ministry for the preparation of an initial proposal to be presented to the Human Development Committee.
The Minister of Social Affairs and Labor engaged in discussions with Yasumasa Kimura, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Syria, exploring avenues for collaboration in drafting laws related to restorative care and addressing the begging phenomenon.
Munajjid expressed the ministry’s commitment to facilitating UNICEF’s work on the ground and providing necessary support to implement programs that positively impact targeted segments, particularly the cash assistance program for children with disabilities. He emphasized the importance of ongoing communication between the technical teams of both parties to streamline efforts and devise innovative mechanisms for cooperation in UNICEF’s programs and projects in Syria.
In response to the issue, Member of the People’s Assembly Khaled Shabib underscored that while poverty is a contributing factor to begging, the predominant cases involve children or individuals with disabilities and illnesses who exploit people’s sympathy to secure financial support. Shabib emphasized the necessity for authorities to impose deterrent penalties on those engaged in such exploitative practices, highlighting the significant gains often accrued by those who exploit beggars, especially when they are children.
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.