Controversial Begging Ban in Norway Stirs Debate

The government’s proposal attracts reaction from both home and international audience. In addition to civil society organizations, some newspapers publish editorial view against the ban. The country’s largest newspaper Aftenposten declares they are against the ban. 

“NORWAY will be a country where one can be imprisoned for asking for help? Ten years after Europe was opened to the east and nine years after the shameful begging clause was abolished in Norway, the government proposes to put people in jail for begging. At worst, one can be imprisoned for sitting, walking or standing with a money container”, writes the newspaper.

Norway begging ban also attracts international attention. Major foreign media devotes space to the proposed ban.

The British newspaper The Telegraph writes that “anyone who offers a homeless person a cup of coffee or a sandwich at Norway’s streets could soon risk between six months and a year in jail.”

Al-Jazeera also has a story on the new proposal from the government . They show many tweets from Norwegians who are protesting the proposal. The website writes Norway proposes to criminalise beggars and those who give money, shelter or food.


The government says the new law is necessary to combat with organised begging in recent years. But opponents said the proposed law is too broad, and will affect ordinary citizens trying to help those in need.

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