City to Ban Begging From Major Intersections

Phnom Penh City Hall plans to ban beggars and street sellers from operating at the traffic lights of six major intersections in the city, according to a statement posted on the municipality’s website on Monday.

The post says that Phnom Penh deputy governor Mak Vansitha had met with local authorities on Friday to discuss the planned ban.

“The decision to choose the six traffic intersections to be designated model areas [for banning street people and beggars] is because we have noticed that such anarchic activities repeatedly occur again and again,” Ms. Vansitha was quoted as saying at the meeting.

“[This occurs] even though they have been rounded up by local authorities for education or providing vocational training to get away from begging and for a good future,” she said.

Ms. Vansitha could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The ban will be instituted at six intersections along Russian Federation, Monivong, Mao Tse Toung and Sihanouk boulevards.

It follows a roundup of beggars from Phnom Penh’s streets earlier this month, during which children and adults were crammed into caged trucks and sent to the Prey Speu municipal social affairs center or NGOs, which mostly refused to house them.

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said that the intersection ban order would be implemented after a joint committee of municipal officials and NGOs completes a census on beggars and street sellers.

“The joint committee with four partner NGOs will be created by the end of this month or early next month to help street kids and homeless people from being exploited by human traffickers and to help them have proper skill for new careers,”Mr. Dimanche said .

According to the municipal social affairs department, 239 street children, street sellers and homeless were rounded up from January to June and sent to vocational training.

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