The world observes International Day for Street Children on April 12 every year. This day was started to provide a voice for children who live on the street. This was so that their rights cannot be ignored. This day provides opportunities for human rights organizations to spread awareness about the plight of street children throughout the world. With the concentrated efforts of governments, human rights bodies, and individuals, street children can be rehabilitated and put in loving homes. Along with finding safe homes, the aim is also to educate them, give them medical facilities, and teach them skills for a better livelihood.
History of International Day for Street Children
In 1989, the United Nations held a Convention on the Rights of the Child. According to what was discussed at the convention, rights that all children in the world should have included the right to a stable, loving, and nurturing environment; healthcare and nutrition; clean water and electric power; equal opportunities; and to live in dignity and freedom.
Children living on the street do not have these rights. Organizations such as the Consortium for Street Children (C.S.C.) are trying to enact the Four Steps to Equality to alleviate the dangers that street children find themselves in. These steps include making a commitment to equality, protecting every child, providing access to services, and creating new solutions.
According to recent statistics, up to 150 million children around the world live on the street. Some children live on the street with their families, while others spend the majority of their time on the street begging for food and money, but return home at night. Some children live on the street as orphans with no family or no home to return to. Needless to say, these children are denied many basic human rights.
There are many reasons why children end up on the street. One of the most common reasons involves living in a situation inflicted by war and conflict. 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 reasons might include rejection by their family, having health issues, or being forced into criminal activity. No matter what the case is, street children are often denied an education, health care, and opportunities to live a dignified life.
International Day for Street Children timeline
The declaration articulates that children are to be given means for their development, special help in times of need, priority for relief, economic freedom and protection from exploitation, and an upbringing that instills social consciousness and duty.
The International Children’s Emergency Fund is established with an emphasis on providing emergency food and healthcare.
The International Labour Organization sets 18 as the minimum age for undertaking work.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
International Day for Street Children FAQs
What is a street child?
Street children are minors who live and survive on the streets. They often find shelter in public landfills, train stations, or under bridges. Because of conflicts with their relatives, these children do not want to or cannot return home.
Why would a child become a street child?
There are many reasons why a child may end up living on the street. These can include parental deaths, parental neglect, and other social factors such as violence and abuse.
Why is International Day for Street Children annually observed?
International Day for Street Children is annually observed across the globe on April 12 to acknowledge the strength and resilience of street children around the globe.
How to Observe International Day for Street Children
Attend a seminar
The C.S.C., as well as many other human rights organizations, hold informational seminars, panel discussions, and fundraisers on International Day for Street Children. Attending these events will allow you to educate yourself.
Volunteer your time
Volunteer at an organization that helps street children. You can also volunteer to teach a skill to these children.
Donate or raise funds
Donate or raise funds for the C.S.C., another nonprofit organization, or a ministry that helps street children. This is a noble way to observe International Day for Street Children.
5 Facts About Human Rights That Will Blow Your Mind
Internet access is a human right
In 2016, the United Nations declared that access to the internet is a basic human right.
Having a vacation is a right
Everyone has a right to leisure and holiday, with pay.
Wars compromise human rights
There are more than 300,000 child soldiers in conflicts around the world.
Forced labor continues to be a concern
Nearly 21 million people around the world are victims of forced labor.
Child education is still precarious
121 million children have never had the chance to attend school, or have been forced to drop out.
Why International Day for Street Children is Important
Ensures equal rights for children
International Day for Street Children is one of those rare observations that highlight the plight of street children. It works to ensure their rights.
Hope for a better future
International Day for Street Children aims to establish a future where every child is in a loving home. It also aims to ensure that their human rights are being protected.
It promotes empathy
We often tend to forget that there are people who need us and how a small act of kindness can change their lives. Celebrations like International Day for Street Children encourage us to do our bit.
International Day for Street Children dates