Beggars face arrest as new begging law comes into force July 28

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Starting on July 28, beggars will face arrests and deported to their countries if they are foreigners and, if they are Thais, they will be sent for rehabilitation and occupational training.

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Government spokesman Maj-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said that the new measure to deal with beggars was in line with the government’s policy to set an order on begging which is a part of the efforts to get rid of human trafficking.

A new begging law which was endorsed by the National Legislative Assembly some months ago will become effective as of July 28. This means beggars, both Thais and foreigners, will face arrests if they continue to beg.

Maj-Gen Sansern put the number of beggars at 4,618 as surveyed since October 2014. Of these, 2,927 are Thais and the rest foreigners.

He said that the foreign beggars will be sent back to their home countries while the Thai beggars will be sent for physical and mental rehabilitation and given job training under the principle of sufficiency economy.

According to the new begging law, a beggar faces one month jailterm and/or a fine of 10,000 baht. Those who exploited from beggars are liable to three-month jailterm and/or a fine of 30,000 baht.

Anyone who comes across a beggar a homeless person should call emergency line 1300 around the clock.