Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry bans fake monks, other beggars, from seeking donations in public places



Ministry bans fake monks, other beggars, from seeking donations in public places

A beggar receives money from a pedestrian near Phnom Penh's Royal Palace in 2014.
A beggar receives money from a pedestrian near Phnom Penh's Royal Palace in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Ministry bans fake monks, other beggars, from seeking donations in public places

The Ministry of Social Affairs has issued a new directive banning people “dressed” as monks and nuns, as well as groups using children, the elderly or disabled, from begging in public places.

The announcement applies to Cambodians and foreigners involved in soliciting such donations, and the ministry has asked local authorities and the public to report such activity to the ministry.

“These activities affect the public order,” says the directive, which was issued on March 1 and signed by Minister Vong Soth. It further says such begging affects the reputation and dignity of the people as well as that of the Cambodian government, which is trying to reduce poverty.

“[It] especially affects the rights of the individuals as victims of those people who make use of them for their own interest,” the announcement reads. “NGOs, associations or other groups doing these activities must immediately stop.”

Beggars and so-called "fake monks" seeking donations have been a common sight in touristy areas for years, but it was unclear to which NGOs the ministry was referring. An official at the Social Affairs Ministry, who asked for anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to speak with the media, said the ministry has not “defined the groups.”

“We just talk in general,” he said. “When we get a call to inform us about these cases, we will go down to deal with it.”

The ministry has yet to develop specific procedures to deal with violations of the order, he added.

“This is a concern of our people,” he said.

Mom Chandany, director of the Phnom Penh Municipal Social Affairs Department, said her department will meet soon with the ministry to further discuss enforcement. Thus far, she added, her department has not received any reports of such activities.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Preah Sihanouk hit with travel ban

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration has announced a temporary travel ban to and from the province, except for ambulances and trucks transporting goods. The announcement came after prime minister Hun Sen called on people in the province to travel only if necessary, and that people not

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • AstraZeneca jabs touch down in Phnom Penh airport

    The first shipment of 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/SII vaccine which was provided through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility was delivered to Phnom Penh International Airport on March 2. The rest of the COVAX provided vaccines will arrive in Cambodia at a later date.