Local authorities have been urged to crack down on fundraising in public places and any groups doing so have been ordered to stop immediately.
Social Affairs Minister Vong Sauth said in an announcement last week that the ministry saw that some Cambodians and foreigners were fundraising by distributing envelopes with the pictures of children on it.
He said people pretended to be monks or nuns and used children, elderly or disabled people to raise money for charities without obtaining permission from relevant state institutions or local and international organisations they purported to represent.
“This activity really affects social public order as well as the honour and dignity of Cambodian people and the government in trying to improve the lives of our people,” Mr Sauth said.
He added the ministry ordered any organisations, associations and other groups to immediately stop fundraising in this manner.
“Local authorities, relevant institutes and the entire public have to cooperate to stop and prevent these activities by informing or reporting to Social Affairs officials so action can be taken,” said Mr Sauth.
Mom Chandany, director of the municipal social affairs department, recommended that people cooperate with social affairs officials and the police when seeing people attempt to fundraise in public places, especially in restaurants.
“We do not have the right to arrest those people, but we can report to the police when we know or see their activities,” she said.
“We will go to see any associations or NGOs directly if we know they are fundraising without permission from authorities.”
Phnom Penh City Hall’s annual report issued last month said 1,727 beggars and homeless people were removed from the streets of the capital and sent to social affairs centres last year.
A total of 1,560 people, including 262 children, were sent to the Phnom Penh Transit Centre in Por Senchey district and the rest were sent to another facility, according to the report.
A total of 1,110 people have since been reintegrated into the community.
City Hall also plans to round up more beggars, homeless people and sex workers to bring more order to the capital’s streets.