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“Street Children:. The phenomenon, Current Trends & implications For Their Rights 4th Civil Society Organization Forum on the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 18 th March 2011 Addis Ababa. “Street Children”. Definition:

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street children
“Street Children:

The phenomenon, Current Trends & implications For Their Rights

4th Civil Society Organization Forum on the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

18th March 2011

Addis Ababa

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

street children1
“Street Children”

Definition:

“A street child means a child who (a) because of abuse, neglect, poverty, community upheaval or any other reason, has left his or her home family or community and lives, begs or works on the streets; or (b) because of inadequate care, begs or works on the streets but returns home after night” (The Children’s Act of 2005, Number 38 of South Africa )

No Child belongs to a street but to a family

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

categories of street children
Categories of “Street Children”

Children at risk – children of the urban poor

Children living on the streets – children for whom the street is the main living place

Children working on the streets – children who come to the streets to work in order to supplement family income

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

reason for coming to the streets
Reason for Coming to the Streets

Poverty

Rapid urbanization and industrialization associated with the collapse of rural economy

Structures that leave children unprotected

Wrong perception that life in a big city would be easy and fun

Other social, economic and political crisis such as epidemics, military and ethnic conflicts, refugee movements and etc.

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

trends
Trends

The phenomenon of children living and working

on the streets is a worldwide problem

Getting accurate statistical data for “street children” is difficult given the hidden and isolated nature of life they lead

It is estimated that there are about 100 million “street children” around the world. The figure reaches 150 million in some studies

UNICEF estimated the figure to be around tens of millions in 2005

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

trends1
Trends

There are studies that estimated about 32 million

children live on the streets in Africa

Statistic in some selected cities in Africa:

Government estimates 150,000 children live on the streets

in Ethiopia and around 60,000 in Addis Ababa

NGOs estimate that the problem is far worse as nearly

600,000 street children in Ethiopia and 100,000 of these in Addis

Around 1 million children are believed to be on the streets

of Egypt, most in Cairo and Alexandria

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

trends ctd
Trends…ctd.

Statistics in Africa…ctd.

Around In 250,000-300,000 children live and work on the streets across Kenya with more than 60,000 of them in Nairobi

In Ghana, around 21,140 street children, 6,000 street babies, 7,170 street mothers under the age of 20 are estimated to live on the streets of Accra

There are an estimated 10– 12,000 homeless children in South Africa

Approximately 110 infants were abandoned on the streets of Khartoum, Sudan, in 2003, every month, with 50% dying within hours

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

trends ctd1
Trends…ctd.

The number of “street children” is increasing over

the years.

Between 1991 and 1994

In Zambia doubled from 35,000 to 70,000

In Nairobi increased from 4,500 to 30,000

“Street children” are increasing in Sub-Saharan cities, mostly because of HIV/AIDS. For example:

In Brazzaville, Congo, almost half of the street children are orphans

In Lusaka, Zambia, the majority of children living on the street are orphans

The majority of “street children” belong to the age category of 10 to14 but there are studies that show the age ranges from a low of 6 years to a high of17 years

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

trends ctd2
Trends…ctd.

The age at which children start living & working

on the streets is decreasing because of the

increasing number of OVCs

Higher incidence of “street boys” than girls. Major reasons:

parental fears regarding the dangers of street life for females

girls are perceived to be more fitting for indoor activities such as household chores, child minding and working as maids in bars and back street hotels

girls are more likely to get involved in commercial sex work

A study conducted in Eastern and Southern Africa in 1999 in 65 towns and cities found that 74% were boys and 26% were girls

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

effects implications on rights
Effects & Implications on Rights

Often viewed as a threat to the society

Right to non-discrimination. (Article 3 in the ACRWC)

Right to protection against harmful social and cultural practices (Article 21 in the ACRWC)

Right to protection from sale, trafficking and abduction.

Suffer from violence and abuse

Right to protection against child abuse and torture (Article 16 of the ACRWC)

Right to protection and privacy (Article 10 of the ACRWC)

Right to protection from involvement in armed conflicts (Article 22 of the ACRWC)

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

effects implications ctd
Effects & Implications…ctd.

Face health problems, are malnourished, vulnerable to traffic accidents and have difficulties of accessing medical services

Right to health and health services (Article 14 of the ACRWC)

Right to survival and development (Article 5 of the ACRWC)

Right to parental care and protection (Article 18 of the ACRWC)

Vulnerable to substance use

Right to protection from drug abuse (Article 28 of the ACRWC)

Right to parental care and protection (Article 18 of the ACRWC

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

effects implications ctd1
Effects & Implications…ctd.

At a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections including HIV

Right to protection from all forms of sexual exploitation (Article 27 of the ACRWC)

Right to health and health services (Article 14 of the ACRWC),

Right to survival and development (Article 5 of the ACRWC)

Loss of an adult care giver relationship,

parental affection and opportunities for growth

Right to survival and development (Article 5 of the ACRWC)

Rights to protection from separation from parents (Article 25 of the ACRWC)

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

effects implications ctd2
Effects & Implications…ctd.

Find it difficult to go to school

Right to education (Article 11 of the ACRWC) and

Right protection from child labour (Article 15 of the ACRWC)

Mistreated by the law enforcing bodies

Rights to administration of juvenile justice (Article 17 of the ACRWC)

Right to protection against child abuse and torture (Article 16 of the ACRWC)

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

what needs to be done
What needs to be done?

Advocate for the ratification, popularization,implementation of and reporting on the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Use all opportunities to advocate and lobby for the children and make their voices heard. Day of the African Child – this year, the main theme is “All Together for Urgent Action in Favor of Street Children”

Intentionally target children living and working on the street as participants, beneficiaries and owners of programmes

. Promote cross-sector programmes to address the

underlying causes (child friendly schools, non formal

Education, vocational training, access to employment

market with protective measures (ILO Conventions)

. Promote national social protection policy (AU social protection

framework).

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

slide15

Thank You!

UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo