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Azerbaijan: God loveth a cheerful giver2012-08-14 14:28
Recently, you could meet a lot of beggars on the crowded streets of Baku. As a rule, they choose places with big number of passer-by: the more people the more the profit. The fight against this phenomenon in Azerbaijan lasts for a long time and by different means: some structures are trying to persuade people to leave the streets and help to settle, and others - to punish and put pressure under the law. But, despite all efforts, there're no less beggars. What is the reason? To answer this question, we need to learn what makes these people beg for money.
In fairness, we should mention that at first glance, the beggars seem to have been reduced. Kamala Aghazadeh, the chairman of the Union of Azerbaijani children, told us if it was true. According to her, there is no specific statistics in this matter. But, as reported by the Union members, there are not so many beggars in Azerbaijan: from 300 to thousand people. Basically it includes the disabled and Gypsies, "working" in the big cities. Constitute a small percentage of those residents who have lost their apartments and have no permanent place of residence. The only way out, they believe, is in begging. There are many children and teenagers Gypsies.
Union of Azerbaijani children, headed by Aghazadeh, has organized a shelter for the homeless. Members of the organization are trying to attract the begging children to the shelter and provide them with clothing and food, to help get the documents to those who lost, and most importantly - to place in the appropriate government institutions for children (children's homes, shelters). In addition, they work to provide the relevant documents to the children without Azerbaijani citizenship. In this case, the organization activists address to the Committee on Refugees under the UN for a certificate of guardianship, which entitle person to legally reside in the territory of Azerbaijan without the exit right.
According Aghazadeh, begging in Azerbaijan has international nature. Along with the local residents, you can see on the streets beggars from Georgia and Russia. They can be divided into "professional" and "forced" beggars. Professional - this is mostly representatives of Gypsies. Adult members of this group openly declare this is their style of life, custom, which they are not going to give up.
A different situation is observed among young representatives of Romance group. Young people want to live differently, so the nongovernmental organizations focus their activities on them. The goal is to help these people in their internal struggle against such way of life. For this they attract the beggars to so-called Sheltie - rehabilitation centers, and help in finding a job. But this is not enough, Aghazadeh says. They need to change their way of thinking, but for this they must work with them from infancy.
Forced beggars - these are people who have lost their shelter, work, who have appeared unable to settle down, was forced to huddle construction sites. Unfortunately, they are mostly poorly informed people. They do not know where and who to contact for help, what organizations can and must help them. As a result, they give up and choose this path of hopeless, Kamala Aghazadeh says.
There is another aspect, adversely affecting the struggle against this social phenomenon. The existing legal system does not allow fully dealing with begging. By the law, you can be fined from 15 to 30 manats (about 20-40 dollars). According to experts, this is nothing compared to the money "professional" beggars earn each day. This means that they are unlikely to give up their occupation. And while MPs are working out new draft law, they are praying for one thing: "God loveth a cheerful giver".