Norway Discusses to Ban Begging Again

Government parties Conservatives (Høyre) and Frp are in favor of a begging ban after NRK documentary reveals a criminal network of begging and prostitution. However, Norwegian research institute Fafo researcher Guri Tyldum believes neither the documentary nor the politicians do not tell anything new about the problem, writes NRK.

In 2015, Fafo published a report concluding that begging Roma people in Norway are not ruled by traffickers or organized criminal networks. 

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– We do not disagree with the documentary’s description. The report describes exactly the same things. We describe organized prostitution and extensive crime, but there was not much coverage in the media at that time, she says to NRK.

Tyldum points out that the documentary shows people who pretend to be beggars are criminals. It is something else than to point out to the people who use these begging people.

She thinks begging money is so small that it will not be particularly interesting for criminal network masterminds. She notes there are other exploitation areas such as prostitution.

Will the Parliament Ban Begging?

Following the documentary, Ulf Leirstein from Frp opens debate about banning begging. He thinks that the documentary is important because many people now opened their eyes and saw how begging is a used for organized crime.

– I think many are disappointed. Many believe that they help those who come from poor areas, but then you see that there are other structures behind them, says he to NRK.

Earlier today, Erna Solberg also made an order for a begging ban.

If there is a will in the parliament now, the government can bring a proposal quickly,” she said.

However, there has not been a majority for such a ban in the parliament.

Eivind Trædal, from the Green Party, says to NRK that they do not want a national ban and he thinks that criminal activities can also hide behind other businesses.

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