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Moldova: Prison Term for Begging

(Oct. 2, 2008) On September 26, 2008, the Parliament of Moldova adopted amendments to the nation's Criminal Code that make begging and other related activities a felony. Under the new provisions, those who organize begging will be imprisoned for a period of up to five years upon conviction and fined up to US$2,000. The punishment increases in cases when minors, the disabled, or mentally retarded individuals are recruited for begging; those who use such people for begging will face a seven-year term of imprisonment and a fine of US$3,000. The law does not provide for the punishment of ordinary beggars for whom this type of activity does not constitute a profession. (In Moldova, Criminal Punishment Is Introduced for Begging [in Russian], NEWS OF THE DAY, Sept. 26, 2008, available at