In September 2016, the government of the Swiss canton of Vaud introduced a law banning begging across the canton.
Unhappy with the ban a group made up of religious groups and political parties on the left have been challenging the law ever since.
In 2017, they approached Vaud’s constitutional court where 4 out of 5 judges rejected their plea.
They also tried to launch a referendum but fell short of the minimum number of signatures.
Next they went to the Federal Tribunal, Switzerland’s highest court, to have the ban overturned, however the Federal Tribunal recently rejected their plea, according to the newspaper 24 Heures.
In responding, the Federal Tribunal referred to its rejection of a similar plea presented by a group in Geneva 2008.
The group opposed to the ban argues that banning begging condemns, stigmatises and excludes the poor. It may take its case to the European Court of Human Rights. A similar group in Geneva did this but has not yet received a verdict.
Supporters of the ban argue that the law is needed to crack down on organised networks that exploit beggars and sometimes children.
In the meantime Vaud’s State Council needs to come up with a start date for the ban which will introduce fines of 50 to 100 francs.