BANGKOK, 30 June 2014, – The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS) has said it will address the ongoing problem of beggars currently roaming streets throughout the kingdom.
In her announcement, Yanee Lertkrai, the Director-General of the Department of Social Development and Welfare, her agency has discovered that most of small children being forced to beg on the streets are the victims of Cambodia’s human trafficking rings.
According to her, beggars consist of both Thais and foreigners, adding that they are either doing it voluntarily or being forced into doing it against their will. Over 90% of the young beggars are Cambodian under 10 years of age; some are infants.
The ministry has coordinated with related agencies to address the beggar issue, following an agreement with Cambodia to deport Cambodian beggars back to their motherland. Ms. Yanee said appropriate assistance would be provided to both human trafficking victim beggars and those who voluntarily choose to beg.
She asked the public not to give anything to beggars, as the act is tantamount to giving support to human trafficking rings, while urging residents to inform the human trafficking hotline 1300 around the clock, if they witness small children being forced into begging.