Standards of living? Article 27 of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child? In practice, it is an extraordinary tool to fight against the unacceptable inequality which prevents the harmonious development of hundreds of millions of children.
CyberDodo and Street kids(1-38)
It is a minor who no longer has a home and who is living and sleeping on the streets, a circumstance aggravated by the fact that he generally has no more contact with his family. It is also applied sometimes to children who, although they live with their families, they are forced to go and work the whole day on the streets.
How many are there?
As is often the case, it is very difficult to answer with certainty. What is certain is that all the continents are affected; the official bodies estimate that they number between 100 and 150 million.
Why is a child forced to live on the street?
There are numerous causes, the first one that comes to mind in most of the scourges affecting children is poverty. Families do not have the means to feed their children and they are left to their own devices and have to find their own means of subsistence, which can also happen when one of their parents dies (Which, for example, occurs millions of times over in Africa because of AIDS).
How do street kids survive?
"They manage" is the reassuring response, often tinged with a vague admiration; in reality, they are victims of rackets, violence and all types of attacks against their physical and moral integrity.
To have something to eat, they are forced to accept any type of work, even if it is dangerous or denigrating; this is how numerous street kids become prostitutes, drug vendors or even child soldiers, forcefully enrolled by heartless militia.
They can also serve as cheap labour in construction and carry heavy loads which will endanger their health and their growth. They are also cleaners, domestic workers, shoe shiners, porters, delivery boys, guards, etc.
The less fortunate or weakest will search through bins and garbage to find something to survive on and are forced to become beggars or even steal, which also places them a little further on the edges of society.
Their absence of an official status exposes them to local gang leaders and other unscrupulous adults to whom they are forever indebted, their salary often being only food or just a bed to sleep on for a few hours.
As if their situation is not bad enough, many of these children will then use solvents and other substances to ‘forget' their condition, becoming more dependent on these drugs which will affect their health and their judgement.
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