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The Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW) is set to gear up the regulation of beggars, adding that the new Beggars Regulation Act effective 28 August 2016 onwards will provide better help to the underprivileged and improve the country’s image.
The DSDW Deputy Director-General Kwanwong Pikulthong has said regarding Thailand’s effort to regulate beggars that the country is facing issues from human trafficking groups who take advantage of underprivileged people by involving them in beggary.
He has said since October 2016, the DSDW has been regulating beggars with 4,618 beggars registered to the authorities, 1,691 of which are foreign nationals from whom mostly are Cambodians at 80 percent.
The department is working with the authorities from their country of origin on the deportation of foreign beggars, and on measures to prevent them from having to return to beggary.
The new Beggars Regulation Act BE 2559, which is set to come into effect on 28 August 2016, will become an important tool to clearly distinct beggars and street performers, and truly provide protection to the underprivileged.
The DSDW deputy director-general has further said regarding street performers that this activity is not considered an offence according to the new law, though all street performers will be required to register themselves in accordance to their talents at the local DSDW offices.
Persons considered as receiving benefits from the act of beggary will face legal punishments which include 3 years imprisonment, 30,000 baht fine, or both. Persons who are involved in the importation of beggars into the kingdom or forcing persons to become beggars will face a jail term of 5 years or a fine of 50,000 baht.