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Who are ‘Street Children’?
What is their number?
Why Children leave home?
What is their lifestyle?
Are they involved in Crime?
What is Child ‘rental’?
What is their future?
Who is doing what?
What can be done?
What is ilmoamal doing?
More information?

 

Who are ‘Street Children’?

Street Children is a not a functional term and difficult to define clearly. UNICEF has defined three types of street children: Street-Living, Street-Working, Street-Family.

• Street Living Children: children who ran away from their families and live alone on the streets.
• Street Working Children: children who spend most of their time on the streets, fending for themselves, but returning home on a regular basis.
• Children from Street Families: children who live on the streets with their families.


What is their number?

Street children are not usually counted, nor subject to census, so their numbers are not known and no reliable statistics are available for them in Pakistan. Different organizations produce local estimates. Verbal estimates attribute 10,000 street children (with no apparent family links, this puts them in the UNICEF category ‘Street Living Children’) each to Lahore and Karachi.

It means total number of children in all the three categories may be much higher. According to Asian Human Rights Commission, there are 1.2 million children on the streets of Pakistan's major cities and urban centers

Given the population of Karachi, which is more than 15 million, the number of street children in Karachi may be significant.

Why Children leave home?

Poverty, family conflicts, physical and sexual abuse or exploitation, and violence are leading causes of children (including children from rural background) running away to become street children.

Poverty is one of the major factors. Parents abandon or sometimes even sell their very young children. Violence with children at home or schools also cause many to run away. Drug use by parents is also a cause.


What is their lifestyle?

The children adapt to a lifestyle on street but they are constantly at risk from a number of sources including poverty, lack of hygiene, sexual abuse, substance abuse (particularly glue sniffing), hazardous working conditions, exploitive labor, crime and conflict with juvenile justice and transmitted diseases.


Are they involved in Crime?
On the streets it is almost impossible not to get involved in crime or be a victim of criminals. Many working children are under coercion from street gangs to deliver a portion of their earnings each day. These adults are usually invisible to the public.

Glue sniffing is another major problem in street kids. It is easier to get than illegal drugs. The sniffers' favorite brand is 'Samad Bond' glue, which is flooding the streets of Karachi. According to The Pakistan Medical Association substance abuse among street children has reached alarming levels.

What is Child ‘rental’?
Child ‘rental’ for begging is a new and increasingly popular phenomenon among poor households. Parents ‘rent’ their children out to an individual or group and both parties share the income.

What is their future?




Who is doing what?

www.azadfoundation.org

It is an NGO ……. They have
Drop in Centers:


What can be done?



What is ilmoamal doing?

Raising awareness is important. Street children have become such an normal part of urban life that we have stopped questioning who is this child? Why is the child on the street? Why is the child not going to school? Is child getting enough to eat? Is the child safe from hazards on the streets?

Participating with organizations who are already establishing and maintaining contacts with street children.

Gathering funds and directing it to the such organizations


More information?

• At the margins: Street Children in Asia and the Pacific, Andrew West, Poverty and Social Development Papers No. 8/October 2003
• http://www.azadfoundation.org/

 

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