Beggars arrested in Kurdistan
The Anti-beggary Unit in Suleimaniya arrested 23 beggars on February 8 by intensifying their campaigns in coordination with concerned authorities. The Director of the Unit, Bestun Abdulrahman said, “The number of those arrested amounted to 23 today. Children, women and aged men constitute the majority of them”. He also said that the Unit has intensified plans to arrest beggars, and take necessary action against them, “The Suleimaniya social affairs Unit will find suitable places for those who are not able to work, so they can live comfortably”.
Begging has become a social problem in Kurdistan region, particularly after thousands of Syrian people fled to Kurdistan, due to political instability in Syria. The refugees have increased dramatically in the past months. Due to the lack of jobs available, and accommodation, many Syrian Kurds have resorted to begging. Although there are many charity groups set-up to help the refugees within Mosques, and City centres, begging still continues.
Statistics show that the majority of beggars are refugees, and most of them gather during Friday sermons outside Mosques begging for money. The problem is that many of them are children, who should be in school to receive an education. Instead, they are deprived of having an education, and live off petty cash on the streets. They’re safer in care homes than on the streets, where they will receive clean clothes, comfortable environment and decent food.
The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs deals with beggars in the following ways; if he is able to work, he is directed to the Bureau of Labor; an orphan is directed to orphanages; an elderly is directed to the nursing home; if he is vulnerable, he is directed to the guidance and observation house; while a woman is directed to the elderly women housing.
This picture shows a woman begging in a street in Suelimaniya.