FILE – Beggar and her child, Al-Hussein, Cairo, November, 2011 – Flickr/MohannadKhatib
CAIRO – 3 December 2018: MP Mohamed Abu Hamed argued that punishment for begging in Egypt is insufficiently deterrent and must be amended, adding that begging in Egyptian legislation is a punishable offense that has been in the Penal Code since 1930.
In an interview with dmc, Abu Hamed, deputy chairman of the Parliament's Social Solidarity Committee, said that the penalty for begging in public places reaches a maximum of two months, while using a child in begging raises the penalty to three to six months.
He said that the citizens and the police walk everyday alongside beggars, and no action is taken against them, and the penalty is incommensurate with the crime. He pointed out that there are people who kidnap children for begging, adding that countries combating begging take children from beggars and place them in care homes.
The state does not have clear statistics on the numbers of beggars, but it recently began to list the missing, Abu Hamed said, adding that there are statistics from the National Center for Social and Criminologist Research indicating that there are 20 to 25,000 beggars.
Many beggars in Egypt are believed to be making a profession out of it. It is also common to see beggars using children or to see children beggars in public places which makes them look more pathetic. On the other hand, many people are still generous to beggars inside the metro and other public places as some people believe some beggars are in real need for money though.
CAIRO – 27 June 2018: “Yes, I am a begger. I beg for money. I am a begger; you are blocking my livelihood by parking here,” shouted a street begger at a parked car. It was nighttime in Ramsis, a square jumping with action, movement and liveliness, and the begger was sat on a pavement near the station, calling out on passers-by to give him a hand-out in exchange for a prayer.