Jail for giving to beggars…

Jail for giving to beggars…

    July 04 2008 at 08:37AM

Jakarta – People in an Indonesian city who give in to the tug of charity could face three months in jail under a law making it illegal to give money to beggars and street children.

The law, approved in June by the legislative council in Makassar, South Sulawesi, is meant to reduce the city’s swelling population of beggars, Mayor Ilham Arif Sirajuddin said.

"Under the law, people who give money to beggars will be jailed up to three months or have to pay a maximum fine of 1.5-million rupiah (about R1800)," he said. "This is an important decision to clear beggars from the streets."

Beggars and street children face three years in jail or fines up to five-million rupiah but the crackdown has come along with a programme to train beggars for work.

The population of beggars and street children in Makassar jumped from 870 in 2006 to 2600 in 2008, the mayor said. – Sapa-AFP

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