Don’t give money to beggars, says minister

A woman gives money to a beggar at the Victory Monument in Bangkok. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
A woman gives money to a beggar at the Victory Monument in Bangkok. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

Social Development and Human Security Minister Varawut Silpa-archa has asked people to stop giving money to beggars as they are increasing in number, claiming that some make almost 100,000 baht a month.

Mr Varawut said on Tuesday that his ministry has been working with several agencies to curb begging.

Ministry officials conduct sweeps five times a month to arrest beggars on the streets, he said.

Arrested foreign beggars are deported back to their countries while Thai beggars are sent to a home for the destitute, where they receive career training and are encouraged to find work, said Mr Varawut.

The punishment for begging can be up to one-month in prison and/or a fine of up to 10,000 baht.

Most of their income comes from tourists or the general public, Mr Varawut said.

The minister also said that about 7,000 beggars have been caught over the last 10 years, and 30% of that number were foreign.

“I’d like to ask for people’s cooperation in stopping giving to these beggars as they keep coming back and are increasing in number”, he said.

When asked about their income, Mr Varawut said there was no confirmation, but they usually receive a lot from foreign visitors during the high season. Some of them make nearly 100,000 baht in a month, he said.

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  • agency (noun): a government department that provides a particular service - หน่วยงานราชการ
  • beggar: a person who lives by asking people for money or food - คนขอทาน
  • begging (noun): getting money by asking people for money , on the side of the street, for example - การขอทาน
  • confirmation: a statement, letter, etc. that shows that something is true, correct or definite - การยืนยัน
  • cooperation: working together to achieve a result that will benefit all sides - ความร่วมมือ, การทำงานร่วมกัน
  • curb: to control or limit something - จำกัดขอบเขต, ควบคุม
  • deport: to send someone out of a country, usually because they do not have a legal right to be there - เนรเทศออกจากประเทศ, ส่งตัวกลับประเทศ
  • destitute: with no money or possessions - แร้นแค้น
  • ministry: a government department that has a particular area of responsibility - กระทรวง
  • punishment: an act or a way of punishing somebody - การลงโทษ
  • Social Development and Human Security Minister (noun): the appointed head of the Thai ministry responsible for promoting social development and equality and social justice. - รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงการพัฒนาสังคมและความมั่นคงของมนุษย์
  • sweep: to move over an area, especially in order to look for something -

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