Children living or working in the streets are entitled to respect , protection and fulfilment of all the rights that have been clearly stipulated in the Convention on Rights of the Child. Basically, this is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.
What causes the existence of street urchins and street families ? Life presents one with a roller coaster of experiences with high and low moments in life that subject them into different situations in life. Death is a natural occurrence that is unforeseen presenting the directly affected families with new phases of life. This mostly affects the young children who perhaps have no one to look up to or fend for them causing distress and a sense of hopelessness. Other causes of the existence of street families and street children include parental mistreatment, poor parental guidance and divorce.
Street children are faced by so many challenges in life and tough decisions to make due to their vulnerability. In most instances, the street children might have gone through psychological distress, neglect and different forms of physical and verbal abuse thus torturing their minds at a tender age. To add insult to injury, girls are exposed to rape at a tender age. Boys and girls are forced into drug and substance abuse leading to addiction that in the long run translates into chronic illnesses.
Most of the above mentioned experiences of street urchins raise cases of distress and despair. However, governments globally are striving to ensure safety of the street children through organising initiatives such as “International Day for Street Children”, a special day in acknowledging the strength and resilience of millions of street children in the world.
By Arnold Fedha