Weird : wanna be a beggar ? But are you… qualified ?

Being a beggar will not be so easy anymore if draft legislation approved by the cabinet yesterday becomes law. The bill proposed by the Human Security and Social Development Ministry sets conditions for people who want to be beggars.

They must provide proof they are underprivileged, disabled, homeless or elderly without children to care for them. And this will be a reserved occupation, exclusively for Thais who must carry ID cards.

Would-be professional beggars will have to report to local administration organisations for approval and work permits.

Local agencies will be responsible for controlling beggars in their jurisdictions, while the Social Development and Welfare Department will have special centres to help them and programmes to care for them.

Those who force other people to beg, or exploit them, will be liable to criminal punishment, deputy government spokeswoman Suparat Nakboonnam said.

Passing the legislation into law would help the authorities get rid of the large number of foreign beggars in the country, she said. The bill will soon be handed to the government whips and then go to parliament for approval.

If passed, it will replace the 1941 Begging Control Act, which is outdated and begging for a makeover, Ms Suparat said. (Bangkok Post)

Another perfectly normal day in Thailand…

The xenophobia of some thais politicians and bureaucrats is so gross, that it leads them to work on inane laws.

My point :

-target : to get rid of the “large number of foreign beggars” (it’s of course a well known fact that Thailand is totally overwhelmed by foreign beggars 😉 )

-the way : find a technical way to discriminate thai and foreign beggars

-the mean : create an “official status” for beggars

-implications : ask for proof of nationality, proof… of qualifications (!!!), create work permit, etc. !

Do you follow the totally twisted logic at work here ?

And what about the… “qualifications” to get the status of beggar ! ? ! I mean even by thai standards, we reach here surreal boundaries.

Someday, it’s difficult to avoid the dark winds of despair…

This country is hopeless. ;-(

More on the “beggar licence” project  with a new article from Bangkok Post.

12 Responses to “Weird : wanna be a beggar ? But are you… qualified ?”

  1. 1 MSB 20 August 2008 at 8:09 am

    Yeah, i am totally with you on this one!

  2. 2 tom_bkk 20 August 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Some clowns die and new ones follow

  3. 3 ThaiCrisis 20 August 2008 at 1:54 pm

    The problem is : it’s not a zero sum game.

    The population (of clowns) is growing.

    Exponentially ?

  4. 4 Billy Bangkok 20 August 2008 at 3:48 pm

    What if you’re only a amatuer or hobby beggar?

  5. 5 jud 20 August 2008 at 4:00 pm

    where can I get work permit for foreign begging? And what,s about Tax?

  6. 6 absolutelybangkok 20 August 2008 at 4:18 pm

    What about beggars with mobile phones?

  7. 7 kv 20 August 2008 at 9:06 pm

    This law is supposedly targetting epecially Burmese beggars, which all that I know are mostly victims of human trafficers and are “professional” in sense that they are brought to the streets with minivans in mornings and pickups and taken away by the nightfall. NOW the issue here is two folded, imho, first of all, there is already tools to fight against this by other laws etc. investigate human trafficking and second, nothing is done about it as it is. NOW what I am thinkin’ that in away this gives maybe better tools after all, I would presume that all these illegal Burmese and also Thais who are victims of abuse and are on the streets, would not be willing to co-operate under the human trafficking laws to pinpoint the main criminals but this way banning foreign beggers Police gets simpler tool that could be deterrent for the criminal gangs.

    Now, to see where I am coming up with this, quick google search will bring you worth lots of claims and investigations that indeed beggers in Thai streets are, I dont know how much, but definetly in the hands of “professional beggers” and/or victims of imported inside Thailand or from outside Thailand. This is ofcourse sad and horrible situation as it is. Also this affects negatively for peoples willingness to help beggers as they think that actually giving money to the begger you are NOT helping him or her at all.

    So, what at first seems bit silly, might indeed include some reasonable truths in this news clip. 🙂


  8. 8 ThaiCrisis 21 August 2008 at 12:37 am

    Well… I’m still not convinced.

    Surely the aim to punish those “who force other people to beg, or exploit them” as stated in the article, can’t be criticized.

    Even though it would the main aim (which is not, the fight against “foreign” beggars seems to be more important), this law is idiotic and is typical of a bureaucrat inferno.

    You’re talking about other laws. Yes. For instance Immigration laws and regulations. The police could deal with “foreign” beggars.

    And what about Labour laws ? And criminal laws (for trafficking) ?

    How a “beggar status” with an official ID card, proof of qualifications could help ?

    As for the burmese, I’m sorry but we see way more burmese “workers” (illegaly and legally) in this country than “beggars”.

  9. 9 tom_bkk 21 August 2008 at 2:59 am

    Well, proposed law has indeed something more funny and even more contridictary:

    2nd paragraph:
    >> And this will be a reserved occupation, exclusively for Thais who must carry ID cards.

    3rd paragraph
    >> Would-be professional beggars will have to report to local administration organisations for approval and work permits.

    So its resevered for Thais only – if its a reserved occupation, how could a work permit be processed?

  10. 10 Cabby 25 August 2008 at 8:29 am

    How else would you approach the problem? It isn’t surprising the Thais get pissed when they realize their charity isn’t going to the deserving. You either have to ban it outright and put up with the PR nightmare of putting hungry single mothers and their babies in prison or have a quick way of the cops filtering the genuinely impoverished from the abusers of generosity.

    So people wanting to beg need to demonstrate they are broke, have no one to support them and are Thai and they get a card letting them do so. You guys make it sound like they have to sit an exam. It is just the 3rd world equivalent of a busking license.

    It might even do some good if the cops can clear out the gangs and their puppets. Well, I guess that might be too much to ask for but it is a start – if the Thais just give cash to card displayers it will reduce the number of imports (sure, fake cards are a possibility but it will be less economical and leave a trail connecting the illegal immigrants to gangs making it a more dangerous option)

  11. 11 tyler 23 February 2009 at 3:21 pm

    they shoudnt need as license to beg, thier homeless for a reason y pay for a damb license it just doesnt make sense.

  1. 1 BKK News Feed Archive - Q3/08 Trackback on 22 August 2008 at 4:15 am

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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