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In Sweden and other Nordic countries, the presence of beggars on the streets is a relatively new phenomenon, with many beggars originating from new EU member states. There are frequent claims that those beggars are part of organised networks, and that money raised does not stay with the beggars but goes to ring leaders. For example of people claiming this, see Beggars in Stockholm, The Local DK, or the reports from the very same day that the police in Sweden claim that begging is or isn't organised. A recent article asserts that a recent study shows that it is not organised. The news is based on an English language report from the Norwegian FAFO institute (PDF, 136 pages, 3.6 MB), who write that For most, income from begging and street work is shared only within the immediate family and household..

What evidence is there for the assertion that a large part of the revenue raised by beggars in Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo, does not benefit the beggars but is taken by third parties? I imagine some might claim that the report from the FAFO institute is not the end of the debate.

(NB: For the scope of this question, by organised I mean specifically a situation where money raised by beggars goes to a third party in an exploitative manner. If beggars voluntarily choose to organise themselves in a labour union to demand better condition or whatnot, that is a different matter.)

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    Only in Europe would the concept of a "beggar's union" not be complete satire. – Graham Jun 19 '15 at 14:45
  • Of interest: A Panorama episode covered The secret lives of Britain's child beggars. – user7920 Jun 19 '15 at 15:07
  • @coleopterist I'm not familiar with Panorama. Would you consider them rigorous fact-checkers, or rather side them with "another example of a notable claim"? – gerrit Jun 19 '15 at 15:41
  • @gerrit Panorama (which has been running since 1953) is an investigative journalism programme generally believed to be reliable and accurate. It can be a li'l sensationalist at times though. – user7920 Jun 19 '15 at 19:37
  • If you are able to read Danish, you should read this. It is a bit old (2008) but it states that the beggars are not organised as such, but are often families from Romania – user27170 Jul 19 '15 at 19:39

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