INTERNATIONAL DAY OF STREET CHILDREN
Every year on April 12th, International Day for Street Children provides a voice for children that live on the street so their rights cannot be ignored. The day provides opportunities for human rights organizations to spread awareness for the number of street children throughout the world.
According to recent statistics, up to 150 million children throughout the world live on the street. Some children live on the street with their families. Other children spend a majority of their time on the street begging for food and money. Still, others live on the street as orphans with no family or no home to return to at night.
There are many reasons children end up on the street. One of the most common reasons is they live in a country where war and conflict are rampant. Children in this situation are either separated from their family or their family members have died. Some children leave home voluntarily because they are abused by family members. Other children live on the street because they are rejected by their family, have mental health issues, or are being forced into criminal activity. No matter what the case, street children are often denied an education, health care, and other basic human rights.
In 1989, the UN held the Convention on the Rights of the Child. According to the Convention, some of the rights that all children in the world should have include the right to:
- a stable, loving, and nurturing environment
- healthcare and nutrition
- clean water and electric power
- equal opportunities
- live in dignity and freedom
Sadly, children on the street do not have these rights. It’s for this reason that organizations such as the Consortium for Street Children (CSC) are trying to enact the Four Steps to Equality. These steps include making a commitment to equality, protecting every child, providing access to services, and creating new solutions.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalDayForStreetChildren
On this day, the CSC as well as many other human rights organizations, hold informational seminars, panel discussions, and fundraisers. Such events educate the public on the plight of street children. It’s also the goal of these events to spread awareness about the increasing numbers of street children and find ways to protect their rights.
- Find out if there are children living on the street in your community and discover ways you can help them.
- Volunteer at an organization that helps street children or children that are homeless.
- Donate to the CSC or another nonprofit organization or ministry that helps street children.
Spread awareness for this day on social media with #InternationalDayForStreetChildren.
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR STREET CHILDREN HISTORY
The CSC launched the first International Day for Street Children on April 12th, 2011.