A ban on begging between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. in Luxembourg, adopted by the city council in March, has sparked controversy and opposition from various quarters. The opposition argues that such regulations do not contribute to the overall safety of the city. Recently, the Ministry of the Interior has joined the debate, expressing concerns about the legality of the ban.
Taina Bofferding, Luxembourg's Minister of the Interior, stated that the law violates three legal aspects at the same time. Firstly, there is no legal basis for a national ban on begging. Municipalities can, however, adopt such measures if they can prove the need for them. Unfortunately, Luxembourg has failed to provide sufficient evidence of the need for this ban. The second legal aspect is that begging has been decriminalised in Luxembourg.
Begging is only considered illegal if it is accompanied by aggressive or compulsive behaviour or if there are aggravating circumstances. In the absence of these factors, begging is considered a legal activity.
Thirdly, the ban on silent begging, as outlined in the ordinance, is contrary to the human rights statutes of the European Union. Such a ban is seen as a violation of the fundamental human rights enshrined in a democratic society.
In light of these concerns, the Home Office does not support the updated regulation and calls for further discussion. It is crucial to ensure that any regulations implemented respect both the legal framework and human rights principles. By engaging in an open dialogue, stakeholders can work towards solutions that address the concerns of the community while upholding the rights of individuals engaged in begging activities.
The ministry's stance adds weight to the opposition's argument against the ban, further fueling the ongoing debate on the issue. The call for further discussion indicates a willingness to explore alternative approaches that are more in line with legal requirements and human rights considerations. As the public discourse continues, it remains to be seen whether Luxembourg's begging ban will be revised or reconsidered.