Removing children from streets is everybody's responsibility

27Dec 2017
The Guardian
Removing children from streets is everybody's responsibility

THERE are an estimated 437,500 street children in Tanzania. Many live on the street because of the violence and abuse they suffered at home. Many more face daily abuse on the streets from the police, sex tourists and even each other.

The Consortium for Street Children (CSC) is a global network that raises street children's voices, promotes their rights and improves their lives.

CSC is raising money to provide grants for its partners on the ground in Tanzania, so that they can ensure that work being done to prevent violence against street children is effective.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states specifically that children have the ‘right to protection from all forms of violence’ yet CSC's report 'State of the World's Street Children: Violence' highlighted the large role that violence plays in driving children to the street and a recent UNICEF backed report found that 75 per cent of Tanzanian youth stated they had experienced physical violence and 25 per cent stated they had experienced emotional abuse during their childhoods.

It is imperative that street children are given a voice and listened to when creating policies to reduce violence against them. Follow up studies must be undertaken directly with street children to ensure that recommendations from past studies are being implemented. The Consortium for Street Children is raising money in order to be able to provide grants for our partners on the ground in Tanzania so that they may conduct these follow up studies.

With more focus in developing countries on preventing violence and abuse at home, and by reaching out to children already on the streets and providing them with the rehabilitation, education and security they so desperately need, the vast number of children living and working on the streets in the world could be significantly reduced.

Removing children from the streets is everyone's responsibility to make it a success.

Children living on the street come from different regions of the country and for various reasons.   Everyone should participate in their removal from the street.   Studies conducted at various universities in the country in the faculty of psychology reveals that children join the street for a wide range of reasons.

 Some choose to live on the street because of the extreme poverty in their families others are used by their families as a way of earning money.  

We therefore appeal  to people and institutions charged with children's reintegration to take into consideration the causes which pushed them to join the street.  Every child's situation should be analysed and considered so as to avoid their return to street life.

 There should be capacity building sessions and sensitization campaigns especially towards police agents so as to teach them how to remove those children from the street without using violence.

Children's rights defenders praise the decision to remove all the children from the street.  Any use of violence should be avoided to make this campaign a success.

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