UN-Day for street children: important signal for child rights

(ANS – Bonn) – The United Nations must declare the 12th of April as International Day for Street Children. According to Don Bosco Mission Bonn this is an important signal to enforce the rights of millions of boys and girls who struggle everyday on the street for survival.

“Street children experience discrimination and exclusion every day. This denies them the opportunity to develop and unfold their talents. Children, who lack a family environment, are in need of our support and help”, emphasizes Dr. Nelson Penedo, managing director of Don Bosco Mission Bonn. It is furthermore important to carry out more prevention work to ensure that children don’t end up on the street in the first place.

The adoption of a general comment of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, scheduled for this year, is a good sign. The new UN Directive will enforce the rights of street children and assure them more help and support. In addition, national governments will be held accountable to report on their aid measures for street children.

For around 100 million children worldwide, the street represents the centre of their life. In India alone, there are more than ten million street children. Poverty drives many people to move from rural areas into the cities. There the boys and girls experience rejection, exclusion and violence.

The Don Bosco institutes present important contact points. The children receive a meal, medical care, as well as a safe sleeping place. Later they can also attend school or complete vocational training. Don Bosco is active in more than 130 countries worldwide.

Don Bosco Mission Bonn coordinates and supports the international projects for disadvantaged children and young people of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Street children present a focus of the work.

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