The Vulnerability and Responsibility of the Street Children

Topics: Poverty, Childhood, The Streets Pages: 5 (1957 words) Published: May 19, 2013
A street child is a young person, under the age of fifteen, who lives and sleeps in the streets, whose family ties are broken and who can't or won't return home. Street children live in the streets without their families. Each child has to learn how to survive alone, since no adult takes responsibility of them. Often they are very young and completely ignored by their families. These children don't like to be called as "street children". They live, or rather struggle to survive; they are usually in the downtown area, near stations and shopping malls, places, which are lit up at night or in garbage dumps, in railway stations or under bridges in most major cities of developing countries around the world. To avoid being caught, street children are the last to go to sleep and the first to get up: that's why they're often worn out, and can be found sleeping during the day. They group together at night. Amongst children in the street, there are; children who work, children from slums, runaways and delinquents. Other children may spend most of their time in the street, but maintain certain link to their families. Street children are impoverished of a family care and protection. They need care, shelter, and education and because of not having the basic needs, they are forced to come on the streets in their childhood. Most of the street children have to work in their younger age for their families. Their lives stay at a risk in different means both physically and mentally. During their work they are badly treated with and also humiliated. Children may end up on streets for several reasons such as family breakdown, armed conflict, poverty, natural disaster, abuse, and exploitation, dislocation through migration, urbanization, acculturation, and diseases like AIDS is another cause. The population of the street children is growing rapidly around the clock. This is happening due to undeveloped rural areas and the inhabitants over there that doesn’t have any land, property or proper shelter. These reasons have pressurized the families to migrate to a city which leads to overpopulation in a city. Street children especially exist in the major cities of a developing country because of mistreatment and neglect. Unfortunately, even the developed countries don’t have the facilities to undertake them. This has resulted children from these families have to come out on the streets to support themselves and their families. Majority of the children are sent out to the city to earn. Some of them are thrown away from their homes because of abusive family relations and thus places like bus stops, railway stations and market places become their homes and also their work places. Lack of education, food, medication and other factors are critical issues in this problem.

Street children are engaged in some kind of economic activity ranging from begging to vend. The street children are vulnerable during work and as well as in their daily life routine. Street children are often found in bazaars, commercial areas, hotels and parks. Thousands of children mostly work in different areas of a city as a table boy, helpers for steel work, street hawkers, and hotel workers, beggars at streets, truck boy and working with transport industry. They also try to earn a living through collecting garbage, breaking bricks or pushing rickshaws. Some of them are just involved in petty crimes. Most of the children are insulted in their work and they go home at the end of the day. They contribute their earnings to their families. Due to the economic fragility of the families, they lead a permanent life on the streets. While growing up, these children usually experience severe mortification, social antipathy and considerable danger. As a result, they often grow hostile towards the society. This hatred and distrust draws the naïve street children to involve in criminal activities. Thus, they play an effective role in tainting the society. There are children belonging to very...
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