New Thai law seeks better control over beggars, buskers

The cabinet yesterday gave the green light to a draft bill on street beggars, which empowers the Social Development and Human Security Ministry to send migrant beggars back to their home countries.

Also under the bill, buskers and street performers will be required to seek permission from local administrative bodies before taking to the streets.

Clear penalties

Government spokesperson Yongyuth Mayalarp said this bill, which stemmed from a Cabinet resolution on February 24, is meant for the Social Development Ministry and related agencies, as well as the National Council for Peace and Order, to regulate and resolve the issue of street beggars.

The bill also states that Thai beggars should be provided with vocational training so they can fend for themselves, while those who are unable to work will be sent to a social welfare centre.

The bill also sets clear penalties for people found to be forcing others to beg.

The Cabinet also invoked the 1941 Decree on Beggars' Control and assigned a committee led by the Social Development Ministry to oversee the task. The bill prohibits begging or asking for money from others without doing anything in return, Yongyuth said.

The bill will go to the Council of State for review before being put to the National Legislative Assembly.