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Uzbek Lawmakers To Consider Criminalizing Begging

Begging on the streets of Andijon (file photo)

Uzbek lawmakers have tabled a bill in parliament that would prohibit begging in public places across the Central Asian nation.

The draft law, which was proposed by President Shavkat Mirziyoev, was placed on Uzbekistan's official legal information Internet portal on September 3.

Under the proposed legislation, individuals found begging in public places will face up to three years in prison, while those running human-trafficking rings that use children, elderly people, and individuals with disabilities to beg on the streets would face up to five years in prison.

Beggars appeared in Uzbekistan and other former Soviet republics in big numbers following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Although their numbers have since decreased, many beggars still can be seen at airports, markets, and railway stations across Uzbekistan.

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