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The Street Child - Causes, Effects and Prevention

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Young People
Wordcount: 2026 words Published: 24th May 2017

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Also Street children as defined by the UNICEF: is divided into children “on” the street and children “of” the streets. Children “on” the streets are the children whose have home to live in, but they have a full time work or a part time work. Children “Of” the streets are the children “whose home ties have been seriously weakened and who essentially live in the street” (UNICEF, 1993, p.22). Children “of” the streets are which lives all there time on the streets or in other words children with no shelter except for the street. Also, a “street child” is defined as “any boy or girl for whom the street in the widest sense of the word has become his or her habitual abode and/or source of livelihood, and who is inadequately protected, supervised, or directed by responsible adults”( Lusk, 1989).according to Kopoka Children whose work on streets and take streets as a shelter, usually come from poor slums and squatter settlements where everything is precarious: Family financial situation, overcrowded schools and even safe place where they can run and play. Moreover, wars or armed conflicts cause the increasing of this problem where the children parents are killed and leave them alone with no shelter or place to live . On the other hand, there are children whose have guardians, but the guardians sent them to work to help the family, others are forced to work and live in streets. Even there are children from well to do families or middle class who run away from homes. The purpose of this essay is to show some of the causes and its effects considering street children problem, and analyse the solution to differentiate between good solution and bad solutions.


According to Lugalla and Mbwambo, 1995; there are lots of causes for this problem, some are natural and others are man-made. Children have lost contact with their parents or families, which results the loss of the children in the streets. Some children are the offspring of prostitutes. Some families reject their children if there are handicapped. Some “respectable” parent disowned their own child because he/she is an outcome of an affair. In those causes the background is not allows poor.


According to Harding, 2010; for every cause there is effect, and there are devastating effects on street children themselves and on the society they belong to. The children without education are without future, which means that they will not be able to defend their future and they will face lots of difficulties to have a better life. Moreover, being undernourished from such a very young age causes bad side effects on their health like malnutrition which effects there immune system and as a result shorter life expectancy. There are approximately 48 million young ones whose are not registered in their country’s archives, which represents around 47% of the child population around the world. 20 out of every 100 births in Latin America never registered. That mean that all of those 47% are not on paper which means they do not exist. This is a huge problem as those poor kids do not have identity, which exclude them from other right like the right to vote or the right to have a proper education or even low level education. Moreover, criminal gangs which really represent a huge disaster, as they use those unregistered children to do criminals and violence. Those children have no criteria to know what is right and what is wrong. They may expose themselves to very cruel situations like prostitution, sexual violations, drug consumption and other forms of modern slavery. According to stolenchildhood.net “Street children in the third world, having no access to basic needs always become an easy prey of flesh traders. The demand of street children is high among the pimps and the brothel owners because these children sell themselves at cheap rates. These children are at high risk because they neither use contraceptives nor ask the clients to use them. Thus the chances of getting pregnant or catching a sexually transmitted disease is high”. A finite circle is problem, because when children grows to be adults. They will be the best shape for crime; there will be evil walking on his feet. There will be individual illiterate adults with low moral beliefs, with damaged psychology. Those lovely poor children in the past will be the evil which will oppress other helpless and innocent children. All of this means that street children of today will be criminals of tomorrow.

Analysis of Solutions:-

Street children are a huge problem and any solution, even if it is not good, it will at least push forward to solve this problem. ESCWA has developed good solutions which are

“1. to understand better the situation of street children through research in the following areas:

1.1 Quantitative data at national level to assess the magnitude of the problem. The statistics need to be disaggregated by sex and age.

1.2 Qualitative and quantitative research to examine the root causes that put girls and boys at risk, among them street children. This research will need to examine the link between poverty, inequality, exploitation, violence and exclusion.

1.3 Qualitative research to examine the everyday lives of the street girls and boys and the attitudes of society and the government towards them.

1.4 Policy level research examining the effectiveness of existing policies, planning and legislation and institutional arrangements and budgetary allocation targeting street children.

2. To shift the approach to street children from legalistic to preventive, protective and rehabilitative interventions, through a focus on:

2.1 Root causes and not only on symptoms

2.2 The economic and not only the social sector

2.3 Mainstreaming as well as specific institutions and actions for street children

2.4 The rights of street children as citizens and not as charity cases or delinquents 16

2.5 Street children not only as victims but also as citizens with the agency to participate in decisions which target them.

3. To enforce and monitor all international and national commitment to children

3.1 To review that all items of international conventions such as those pertaining to children’s rights and elimination of child labour are translated into legislation and other procedures.

3.2 To review that all enforcement procedures are in place and are implemented.

3.3 To strengthen all monitoring and reporting systems relating to relevant international conventions.

3.4 To review and further amend the ‘Child Law’ 126/2008 by removing all clauses that undermine its effectiveness and to put in place all the necessary procedures and monitoring mechanisms.

3.5 To review and amend articles pertaining to corporal punishment in a way that prohibits all physical violence whether at home, school, work or any other institution.

4. To establish clear mandates and lines of institutional responsibility for street children

4.1 Strengthen cross-cutting entities

4.1.1 To strengthen the establishment of a unit or department in the new Ministry for Family and Population with a clear mandate for responsibility for street children. This entity would be a catalyst advocating, legislating and monitoring the situation of street children.

4.1.2 To review and strengthen the role of what was previously the NCCM ‘Technical Consultative Committee’.

4.1.3 To strengthen the ‘Child Protection Committee’ according to the amended ‘Child Law’ through appropriate budget allocation, establishment of clear guidelines and protocols and awareness raising and training for the committee members.

4.1.4 To establish surveillance system such as a children’s Ombudsman

4.2 Establish responsibility of line ministries

4.2.1 To strengthen the role of economic sector ministries in addressing poverty, such as the creation of jobs for poor women and men.

4.2.2 To strengthen the monitoring systems of the Ministry of Labour in the area of child labour.

4.2.3 To lift all exclusionary conditions from access to education such as the rising cost of education, forced private tuitions by teachers, mistreatment of poor children in schools, corporal punishment and gender discrimination.

4.2.4 To establish effective internal and external mechanisms and multispectral interventions to identify children at risk and design suitable and sustainable interventions to reduce and eventually eliminate the risk factors.

4.2.5 To formulate a new Social Protection Strategy with the full collaboration of all relevant state institutions and NGOs that focus on the rights of the 17 child, with a dedicated budget and clear roles and responsibilities for its implementation and monitoring.

5. To devise a comprehensive child protection system that addresses the issues of all categories of vulnerable girls and boys in all their diversity of age, class, religion as well as family and regional background

5.1 To devise a Social Protection policy for vulnerable girls and boys.

5.2 To devise a Social Protection strategy translated into cross‐cutting and sectorial programmes and projects and procedures.

5.3 To create realistic budget lines for the implementation of the various components of the Social Protection system.

5.4 To create clear institutional responsibility for monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the strategy.

6. To devise a National Strategy, programmes and projects specifically for street children

6.1 To evaluate the implementation of the “National Strategy for the Protection, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Street Children” of 2003, as well as all programmes and projects directly targeting street children.

6.2 To build on lessons learned and design a new Strategy in collaboration with key state institutions and NGOs.

6.3 To design innovative and participative programmes and projects that address the conditions and circumstances of children already living on the street taking into account that:

6.3.1 There is more chance of succeeding by helping children get off the streets through early intervention, before they establish their new “street kid” identity.

6.3.2 For those who have been a long time on the streets, it is possible to use participative methods and consult them in the design of the most effective activities.

6.4 To strengthen all programmes and projects that helps the re‐integration of street children into mainstream society.

6.5 To put in place actions that address negative attitudes of both the general public and state employees towards street children.

6.6 To work directly with the police to address the way they perceive and treat street children

6.7 To solicit more resource allocation for items listed in recommendation 5 above from government and from bilateral and multilateral organisations.

7. To strengthen the advocacy role of civil society organisations working with street children

7.1 To strengthen CSOs ability to establish channels of communications with street children and to help make their voices heard.

7.2 To raise the capacity of CSOs working with street children in the area of advocacy and lobbying of policy‐makers and politicians.

7.3 To support civil society networks and strengthens their roles as advocates of the rights and needs of street children.”


At last the author believes that street children are a huge problem that has a lot of causes which can be minimized and a lot of effects that are considered a real threat to all means of life, it is waste of man power which harm economy, it threats security and of course it is totally against human right .


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