India’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued an advisory for the protection and rehabilitation of persons engaged in begging.

NHRC recommends survey and data collection, rehabilitation measures, health care, education, legal framework, cooperation with NGOs, awareness and sensitization.

The human rights body has included several important recommendations to address the socio-economic challenges faced by the poor, uneducated children, women, and persons with disabilities.

NHRC Advisory on Begging | Top points

Survey and Data Collection:

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• Develop a standardized survey format to create a national database of people engaged in begging.

• Regularly collect and update detailed information on an online portal accessible to authorities, nodal agencies, and shelter homes.

• Include parameters such as gender, age, family status, health problems, place of origin, and previous economic activities.

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Maintenance steps:

• Register persons in shelters and issue identity cards.

• Ensure that shelter homes provide essential services, including health care, registration assistance, and financial services.

• Organize camps to spread information about government welfare schemes and employment opportunities.

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Health care:

• Provide adequate boarding, lodging, and health care services in shelter homes.

Ensure access to mental health counseling, addiction treatment, and rehabilitation services.

• Connect residents to government medical assistance and insurance schemes.

Education:

• Ensure free and compulsory education for children aged 6-14 years involved in begging.

• Provide early childhood care and education for children up to 6 years of age whose parents are involved in begging.

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Legal and Policy Framework:

• Establish anti-begging framework and work towards decriminalization of begging.

• Take measures against poverty and create laws to prevent forced begging and human trafficking.

Collaboration with NGOs and other organizations:

• Collaborate with non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, and the private sector for skills development and vocational training.

• Encourage formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) and provide financial support through bank loans and government schemes.

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Awareness and sensitivity:

• Develop materials to raise awareness and provide follow-up and aftercare services to monitor progress and prevent relapse into begging.

• Reach out to the public to create awareness and support in implementing conservation measures.

The human rights body said the recommendations aim to address the root causes of begging, provide support and rehabilitation, and ensure the dignity and rights of victims.

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