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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.

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Presentation on theme: "“Street Children: The phenomenon, Current Trends & implications For Their Rights 4th Civil Society Organization Forum on the African Charter on the Rights."— Presentation transcript:

1 “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 1UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

2 “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” “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 2UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

3 Categories of “Street Children” Children at risk – children of the urban poorChildren at risk – children of the urban poor Children living on the streets – children for whom the street is the main living placeChildren 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 incomeChildren working on the streets – children who come to the streets to work in order to supplement family income 3UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

4 Reason for Coming to the Streets PovertyPoverty Rapid urbanization and industrialization associated with the collapse of rural economyRapid urbanization and industrialization associated with the collapse of rural economy Structures that leave children unprotectedStructures that leave children unprotected Wrong perception that life in a big city would be easy and funWrong 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.Other social, economic and political crisis such as epidemics, military and ethnic conflicts, refugee movements and etc. 4UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

5 Trends The phenomenon of children living and workingThe phenomenon of children living and working on the streets is a worldwide problem 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 leadGetting 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 studiesIt 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 2005UNICEF estimated the figure to be around tens of millions in UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

6 Trends There are studies that estimated about 32 millionThere 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 streetsGovernment estimates 150,000 children live on the streets in Ethiopia and around 60,000 in Addis Ababa 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 6UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

7 Trends…ctd. Statistics in Africa…ctd. Around In 250, ,000 children live and work on the streets across Kenya with more than 60,000 of them in NairobiAround In 250, ,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 AccraIn 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 AfricaThere 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 hoursApproximately 110 infants were abandoned on the streets of Khartoum, Sudan, in 2003, every month, with 50% dying within hours 7UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

8 Trends…ctd. The number of “street children” is increasing overThe number of “street children” is increasing over the years. 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:“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 yearsThe 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 8UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

9 Trends…ctd. The age at which children start living & workingThe 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: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 girlsA study conducted in Eastern and Southern Africa in 1999 in 65 towns and cities found that 74% were boys and 26% were girls 9UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

10 Effects & Implications on Rights Often viewed as a threat to the societyOften 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 abuseSuffer 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) 10UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

11 Effects & Implications…ctd. Face health problems, are malnourished, vulnerable to traffic accidents and have difficulties of accessing medical servicesFace 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 useVulnerable 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 11UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

12 Effects & Implications…ctd. At a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections including HIVAt 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,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) 12UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

13 Effects & Implications…ctd. Find it difficult to go to schoolFind 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 bodiesMistreated 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) 13UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

14 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 ChildAdvocate 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”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 programmesIntentionally 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). 14UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo

15 Thank You! 15UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA Akila Belembaogo


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