Homeless Children refer to Children who live on the streets. They are deprived of family care and protection. Most of them are between the ages of 5 to 18 years old. It’s a new phenomenon that has been occurred in the developed and less developed countries such as USA, India and Egypt. This Problem has evolved in some countries because of the gap between the rich and the poor and unequal distribution of the income. According to the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention researchers in Egypt found that the average number of Children street is vary between boys and girls which is 45,5 respectively . This paper will examine the problem of homeless children focusing on Poverty, Child Abuse and Child labor as well as the proposing solutions to overcome this problem.
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Homeless Children is a significant cause of poverty that results from low. The (UNO) in Egypt had interviewed 50 sample of street children and found that “Low income and educational level of the family (98% of the sample come from low income level families, whereas 66% of them were low educational level families)”. Many families cannot support its family because of their low income and because most of these people are not educated so they cannot be employed in high positions to support the needs of the family. In addition, these conditions encourage the parents to let their children drop their schools and support them to be source of money to provide their families with food, clothes and other basic needs. Poverty will keep the child poor throughout his life. In order to survive, children won’t have the chance to go to school and will be forced to work to get money so they will remain at the bottom of the social level.
Most of the homeless children have many siblings according to their illiteracy that will increase this problem. Most of the time, overpopulation is associated with poverty because of their families’ low income. For example in Egypt a poor family could have 8 children and the bread winner’s income is 100 EGP distributed in 8 Child which is not covering half of their needs.
Child Abuse is a cause of street children which lead the child to run away from home to avoid any kind of abuses such as physical or sexual abuses. However, running away from home may cause further abuses. “Most of street children have been beaten up or sexually abused by their parents, step parent or in the work which led them to resorting to street”, (Hussein, 1998). Furthermore, these children are forced to leave homes because they feel that they are neglected and being unwanted by their families.
Another cause of street children is child labor which lead that child bears the burdens outweighs his/her ability. Street children can work in factories and carrying heavy equipment and bags. They usually don’t live their lives as they should, they have been treated as adult because they have grew up before their times. Child labor is associated with child abuse. Children are being abused physically by their bosses who insult and beat them continuously.
Homeless Children negatively affects the entire society. It affects their unstable lifestyles where they do not have a regular place to stay in and they might not see their biological parents daily which make them unstable emotionally. In addition, These Children lack of medical care and they have higher susceptibility of getting chronic diseases gastrointestinal disorders, and sexually-transmitted diseases such as HIV. They could get these diseases as eat from garbage and are not aware of cleaning habits to avoid those diseases. In Mumbai, India “it is estimated that 30% of the prostitutes in this city are less than 20 years of age. Nearly half of them became commercial sex works when they were minors”, (Rhode, 2004). In addition, adults are using street children in drug trade and studies found that 90% of the homeless children are using some psychoactive drugs such as heroin, alcohol, cigarettes and some industrial products that are available such as shoe glue.
Street Children are more likely to acquire behaviors such as violence from the community or while working with others or with how the people react toward them in the streets. They obtain this behavior to protect themselves from the surrounding community and they don’t feel valuable in their society. Most of these children are abused and violence is a normal result of this act which is associated with most of street children. They experienced many things and they saw the black side of life very early and because they feel unwelcomed by the people based on their appearance or their behavior, people tend to drive them away using violence. Street children have a fear of being arrested by police because they are afraid of giving them back to their families.
There are some solutions that have been used previously but didn’t succeed to overcome this problem or reduce the rate of homeless children in some countries such as volunteering in organizations, government, emergency call services and provide awareness and education.
One of the solutions to reduce the problem of street children is volunteering in charitable organizations. These kinds of organizations provide help to street children to have a stable lifestyle and offer them the basic needs and rights as children. However, street children have adopt to the street and of course they don’t want to stay in streets for the rest of their lives, but these organizations offer help for the children not for their parents, so if the child went back home they will repeat the cycle again.so, these organizations actually isn’t the final solution this problem.
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Another solution for this problem is the help offered by the government to eliminate this problem. Governments provide money to these children and their families, so that later there is no need to let the child work or the child is forced to leave the home. By this money, the family can afford their children needs. However, this solution has a drawback which is that the money is going to finish and the government is not and these families can’t rely on governments as source of money. Government will offer them allowance this month but maybe the next month they won’t. In addition, these children have acquired some behaviors such as the use of drugs, so these children might use the money provided by the government in the drugs and other illegal things. According to NGO,”in Brazil, sometimes governments have roundups when they remove all the children from city streets and place them in orphanages or arrest them”. Which might lead the child to leave the orphanage and go back to street again and there are some orphanages that take advantages of these children and let them work for them which cause to the same problem again.
A third solution for reducing the street children problem is emergency call. This service is done by the Human Rights to do their best in helping these children and offer them a stable life. These emergency calls are like hotline which the child dial their number and ask for help and then the responsible people come and help this child. However, most of these children have a fear of people and a fear that the community are not accepting them as part of the society, which result that not many children is going to call them. Moreover, this service also can be used by adults who are seeing street children and want to call a help for them but these children are not aware that they are being helped by the human rights and they will see it as they are being forced to go back to orphanages and child care and others.
The best solution that we recommend to reduce the rate of street children in our world is a combination between education and angle investors. First of all, these children won’t understand that they are being helped unless they understand that they are in severe danger. Education is a powerful weapon that will bring the children back into their societies and will help them to build their futures. “The main purpose of offering education for street children is that they are going to feel valuable in their society and willing to improve themselves to better”, (ANPPCAN, 1995). Small team of volunteers can offer an interesting and good environment of education to encourage them to attend school. In addition, the angle investors could help in providing money to their families as a persuasion but the money is given to start a small business with it such as supermarkets, laundry and joinery and others. So, they could have a stable source of money to provide their children with the basic needs required, and their children could attend school to improve their quality of life.
Street children have many negative effects on the entire society. In addition higher rate of homeless children could increase the probability that the country won’t be secure, stable and developed. Reducing this problem is important because they are part of our society and have needs and rights that should be achieved to get the best possible outcomes from them and raise the level of social and economy to the better. Something needs to be done to reduce and prevent street children from increase. There are several solutions you can do to decrease the disadvantages associated with the street children. While you can volunteer as a teacher, encourage investors to invest in small businesses to allow their families to work in it, support the governments to raise awareness about this problem and how it could be solved or reduced. However the best way for us to make an impact on this problem is to educate these children and make them believe that they are not the problem itself but their surrounded conditions were the problem. Solving this problem is important, we all need to take an action because we have to live in secure country and have a use of each person in our society to make it a better place to live in and create a better quality of life for everyone without exceptions.
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