Norway to Make It Illegal to Help Beggars

Topics: Poverty, Norwegian parliamentary election, 2009, Homelessness Pages: 1 (319 words) Published: March 18, 2016
Alex Brown
Comparative Criminal Justice
Dr. Kilgallon
Article Summary
The article I chose to summarize is entitled, “Norway to make it Illegal to Help Beggars”. This article discusses how Norway is going to introduce an anti-begging law that will make helping the homeless in any way punishable with up to a year in jail. The deadline for the bill is February 15th, and if it passes, both beggars and those helping them could face prison time if found guilty.

The right-wing coalition intended to ban beggars on the street. The new draft of this will also make it illegal to offer money or any kind of help to the homeless. Last June, the coalition and Centre Party gave the former the majority it needed in parliament to impose such a ban. The Ministry of Justice Secretary of State Vidar Brien-Karlsen, from the right-wing Progress Party, explained that they needed to outlaw helping beggars to help police crackdown on organized begging networks. He added the actively organized part of begging is what needs to be stopped, and the new law is the best way to aid police. On the other hand, the Socialist Left Party’s Karin Anderson said that introducing such a law, the government would be affectively criminalizing poverty.

This has caused anger across the country by many. Inger Husby, a resident of a suburb outside of Oslo, said she regularly invited homeless people to stay, eat, have a warm drink or wash in her house, but now she’s worried she could be charged for her generous acts. She noted that if this law were to pass, she would be even more likely to want to help in the future. She added that it doesn’t seem right that helping those who are in need could be punishable by law.
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