His Excellency Attorney General of Gaza, Adv. Diaa Al-Deen Al-Madhoun
Subject: Children’s Organized Begging
MUSAWA- the Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession extends its warmest greetings to you.
On 18/11/2018, the center received a complaint from Adv. …… from Gaza, in which she stated that she was verbally insulted by a group of children beggars and their families in the area of Ramzor Alsaraya, where she was working on documenting the organized begging phenomenon in the area.
The complainant pointed out that before she started taking photos for monitoring the begging phenomenon, she obtained an oral authorization from the police officers, who were located near Ramzor Alsaraya after they had inspected her mobile for security purposes.
The complainant added that the insult occurred before the eyes of the police officers, who granted her the authorization. However, they watched the abuse in complete silence, without interfering to ensure the physical protection of the complainant or to facilitate her authorized task.
MUSAWA sees that the contents of the complaint, if true, are in violation of the law, which prohibited begging as a form of children exploitation and an accountable crime.
MUSAWA believes that the complaint indicates a deficiency in the police performance concerning the seizure of begging groups, which contributed to the growing phenomenon of child begging, and organized groups that employ women and children to beg for their favor, the thing that played a role in prevailing this phenomenon as a profitable way for the begging contractors, who are the ones responsible for gathering the children and transport them with their private cars to the public places to beg there, and re-gathering them at night to get them to their homes.
MUSAWA asserts that the prevalence of the begging contractors' phenomenon serves as a fertile breeding ground for crime and violates the humane dignity of children, which represents a social, cultural, and psychological danger that negatively affects the children present and future. Thus, MUSAWA calls the decision makers, the representatives of parliamentary blocs, and the political parties to make a serious reaction against this phenomenon, and to take all needed administrative and penal actions to eradicate, limit, and hold the ones responsible of it accountable. In addition, MUSAWA calls for media and academic awareness campaigns; for explaining the phenomenon’s disadvantages and negative impact on children and community in general, in addition to addressing the socio-economic root causes of the begging phenomenon.
In this context, MUSAWA asks your Excellency to take the needed legal action concerning holding the police officers accountable, who ignored the beggars abusing the complainant, and to start the investigation on the begging contractors, and refer them to the judiciary to charge them duly.
With All Due Respect
Issued on 26/11/2018
-A copy of the Adv.’s complaint.