Beggary is considered among the negative social phenomena that is both harmful and strange to the Omani society which is adherent to its original habits and values derived from the principles of the Islamic Shari’a. These principles are best manifested through social solidarity, kinship and cooperation to do righteousness and piety. Given this fact, the Ministry of Social Development in cooperation with the Royal Police of Oman, the Public Prosecution and the concerned authorities exert great efforts to restrict this phenomenon through the beggary combatting team. The team carries out daily campaigns in morning and evening intervals in the different quarters and wilayas of Muscat governorate in order to control beggars. Efforts are even more intensified in the holy month of Ramadan due to the increase of beggars in this holy month. Temporary teams have been established to combat this phenomenon in the governorates during the holy month and in occasions like Autumn (Khareef) season in Dhofar. The captured cases are then studied individually to identify the factors and reasons of beggary.
Measures taken against beggars
Coordination is conducted with the competent authorities to take the necessary measures for each case as follows:
- Individuals who are in need for social assistances and they fulfill the requirements of entitlement to the social security: the Ministry connects them to the security salary.
- Individuals who are captured and they belong to the social security families and they need to increase their salaries: they are guided to benefit from the income sources projects provided by the Ministry.
- Individuals who, according to the study, have a breadwinner who is able to work but he is jobless: the Ministry addresses the Ministry of Manpower to provide them with a job opportunity.
- Individuals who, according to the study, prove to have proper social and economic situation: they have to be forbidden from this practice and are directed to the policies applicable in the country if they wish to establish any commercial enterprises to increase their income.
- There are a few beggars who never respond to instructions and commitments they have made to stop their beggary: they deliberately infringe the applicable polices in the country. Consequently, they put themselves at the risk of the penal measures adopted for such cases through the relevant laws. The Omani penal law has intensified the punishment on beggars.
Penalties applied against beggars
- The penalty of less than two months prison sentence and no more than one year and with a fine that is less than fifty Omani Riyals and no more than one hundred Omani Riyals or either of these two penalties shall be applied to anyone who is caught begging in the public street or public or private spaces or shops. Asking for alms or donation from others or displaying trivial commodities, show games, or any other shapes of actions that cannot be suitable for being a serious income for living on their own are considered forms of beggary. A verdict shall be issued to confiscate all the money in their custody when caught. If the beggar is non-Omani, the court may, apart from the aforesaid penalty, order him to be expelled from the country.
- If the condemned repeats the act of beggary, he shall be imprisoned for a period that is less than six months and no more than two years.
- The penalty of less than three months prison sentence and no more than three years and with a fine that is less than fifty Omani Riyals and no more than one hundred Omani Riyals or either of these two penalties shall be applied to anyone who uses a juvenile or delivered him to others with the purpose of beggary. The penalty stated in the previous section shall be doubled if the action doer is the juvenile’s sponsor, guardian or the one assigned to observe him or take care of him.
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