"The problem of homelessness, poverty and street children faces every country and should concern us all. The United Nations estimates that their are over 150 million street children world wide. Whether the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai, Free Town, Bucharest or New York, the problems children face on the street are much the same. Hunger and safety are endless concerns, while drug and alcohol abuse run rampant. Street children are highly susceptible to become victims of abuse or human trafficking. Therefore street children run high risk of drug and alcohol abuse, contacting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
Street children run a huge risk of exploitation by those on the street, including each other, as well as that of the local law enforcements designed to serve and protect. Children on the street face more violence from the authorities, than that of other children, a factor that can often result in death. It was shown in studies by Human Rights Watch, that children where treated as second class or subhuman in many cases, beatings where often the result of nothing more than the fact they where unprotected street kids. Sexual exploitation and abuse by law enforcement has also been a factor for many children on the street, often asked to preform sex acts to escape arrest or harassment. Street children are easy targets for many factors including, innocence, illiteracy, and the sear fact that they are alone. So why are the police committing crimes against vulnerable children in so many cities around the world? “Several factors contribute to this phenomenon: police perceptions of street children as vagrants and criminals, widespread corruption and a culture of police violence, the inadequacy and non-implementation of legal safeguards, and the level of impunity that officials enjoy." (Police Violence Against Street Children).” - From www.children.foreignpolicyblogs.com/
Angola - Africa
Child advocates estimate that thousands of street children in southern Africa have been accused of witchcraft and cast out by their families. In Uige Province of northern Angola, boys found a home in an abandoned building.
Photo: Vanessa Vick for
The New York Times