Continuing the discussion from Austin Texas, Proposition B:
If I remember correctly idleness was considered bad for character in late medieval and early modern times. Being unemployed may have been associated with lawlessness or criminal tendencies. On that basis vagrancy was historically considered a crime, and the unemployed homeless (“vagabonds”, “rogues”) would be arrested then either imprisoned, branded, or conscripted into the military or forced labor.
I thought this was all history. I understand old laws may still be on the books but I thought they were ruled unconstitutionally vague in the U.S., and naturally I expect the rest of the
western world to be far more understanding of the plight of homelessness. I wouldn’t expect a member EU state to enforce vagrancy statutes in refugee camps, for example…
In a recent discussion pkbites surprised me by claiming vagrancy is still a crime or offense in many places,
Where and to what extent is vagrancy a crime today?
Can you still be arrested for Vagrancy? (January 2001)
Vagrancy Laws: Are They Federal Or Do They Vary… (April 2009)
Public Vagrancy (“Is it against the law to lie down in public?”) (October 2008)