The 2013 International Day for Street Children is just a few days away! This year we are demanding that the United Nations recognises the Day, so that street children and their champions have a louder voice. It may only be one day a year, but it helps us get closer to realising street children's rights. We want the whole world to hear Maggie in Zambia saying "I want an education"; Pedro in Bolivia asking "I want the government to listen to me"; and Jo in the USA requesting "I want to be safe".
There are lots of ways of helping to support the Day - you can sign the Demand a Day petition, change your Facebook profile pic, tweet about the Day or hold up an 'I demand a day' sign and send us the photo. For ways to get involved please visit www.streetchildrenday.org
Thank you for helping to make the International Day for Street Children 2013 even more impactful, raising awareness of street children across the world.
Detailed research into street children allows a more thorough understanding of their needs and requirements so that the most appropriate programmes and interventions can be developed. In late 2011 CSC published a research report into street children which recommended the creation of an online hub that would become a 'one stop shop' for anyone working in the field.
This hub is now in development and will be available to over 70 organisations that work with street children. It will enable access to a wealth of available research and guidance on setting up and running projects and will have a direct impact on programme development for the millions of street children around the world.
CSC has now published its major 2011 report 'State of the World's Street Children: Research', which finds that research into street children is fragmented and that, when available, is not being used adequately to inform interventions and government policies. It also finds that whilst street children are starting to be consulted about the policies and interventions that affect them, this is not happening often enough.
One of the key recommendations of the report is the creation of a dedicated, sustainable resource where existing research literature can be collected and held, which can be accessed by all those who have an interest.
CSC is committed to making this research 'hub' a reality. Such a resource will facilitate real 'joined-up thinking' in order to ensure street children are involved at every level in matters that affect them.
2011 has seen some major advancements in getting street children's rights, and voices, recognised at an international policy level. As well as the UN passing a resolution on street children in March, the first specifically on street children in 17 years, CSC has commissioned a study which brings together all of the major street children research and literature from the last decade and analyses the gaps. This is vitally important because at present, official information and knowledge on street children is disparate and uncoordinated. The study will be published later on in the the year and will be a valuable resource for anyone with an interest in street children, whether they be academics or practitioners in the field.
And as a direct result of the UN convention, the UN have also announced a major study which focuses on protecting and promoting the rights of children working and/or living on the street. The CSC study will complement this, and we will also play a role in delivering the UN study, which is due to be published in March 2012.
On 9th March the United Nations Human Rights Council dedicated a day to discussing street children’s rights. CSC played a leading role in the preparations, organisation and development of the day and surrounding events, by coordinating NGO responses and sitting on the UN steering Committee. This was the first time in almost two decades that street children were given such full attention at UN level, and therefore the 9th March marked a unique renewed interest in the rights of street children at global and national policy levels. At the end of March the Resolution was ratified by all 47 countries and supported by the USA. It calls for key changes for street children, especially free birth registration and the need for accurate research on the numbers of these children and the specific issues they face.
The CSC-lef All Party Parliamentary Group on Street Children: The Resolution: Next Steps took place on 31st March – the purpose of which was to discuss the implications of the Resolution. The speakers included Patrick Shanahan, who gave a précis of his speech in Geneva and Sarah Thomas de Benitez who provided an overview of her study highlighting the gaps in research. Ambassadors, NGOs and parliamentarians pledged to work together on behalf of street children.
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