International Day for Street Children

International Day for Street Children is observed next on Wednesday, April 12th, 2023 (196 days from today).

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Every year, on April 12, International Day for Street Children gives a voice to the children living on the streets, so their rights cannot be ignored. This day provides an opportunity for human rights organizations to raise awareness about the number of street children around the world.

What is the International Day for Street Children?

Life on the street is tough. You don't have to be homeless to know that. However, that is especially difficult for children. International Street Children's Day raises awareness about how many children are pushed onto the streets because of poverty and domestic violence.

Children need to learn. In the right environment, children love to learn. Every child deserves access to education and health care. They don't buy these on the street. Homeless kids miss out on vaccines and antibiotics, math classes and recess. Instead, their game is a hunt for scavengers for the day's meal. They are exploited, victimized and abused.

Street children may not have a home other than the street. Or, they may have a home but feel unsafe and abandoned there. How do we protect their interests? How do we preserve their dignity?

Children do not need to work. They don't need to beg or go looking for food. The International Day for Street Children reminds us to cherish the world's youth, to help them reclaim their dignity as they navigate the maze of poverty.

History of International Day for Street Children

According to recent statistics, up to 150 million children around the world live on the streets. Some children live on the street with their families. Other children spend most of their time on the streets begging and earning money. However, others live on the streets as orphans with no family or no home to return to at night.

There are many reasons why children end up on the streets. One of the most common reasons is that they live in a country where wars and conflicts are rampant. Children in this situation are either separated from the family or family members have passed away. Some children voluntarily ran away from home because of being abused by family members. Other children live on the street because of family rejection, mental health problems, or forced into criminal activity. Whatever the case, street children often lack education, healthcare and other basic human rights.

Children, especially street children, are often denied the rights to which they are entitled. The International Day for Street Children, founded by the Street Children Association (CSC) and first celebrated in 2011, aims to remedy this. According to the CSC, four steps must be taken. Firstly a commitment about equality is a must have. Street children must be recognized with the same rights as everyone and this must be reflected in the law.

Second, every child must be protected. Street children must be protected from violence and abuse and have access to justice when they are abused. Third, every child needs access to essential services such as schools and hospitals, so that they can reach their full potential. Ultimately, new solutions must be created by providing "specialized services and opportunities tailored to street children's unique needs, talents, and challenges." The CSC introduced these four steps in 2017 and modeled them according to United Nations General Comment No. 21, also published that year.

How to celebrate International Day for Street Children

On this day, the CSC, like many other human rights organizations, organizes informational seminars, panel discussions and fundraisers. Such events educate the public about the plight of street children. The goal of these events is also to spread awareness about the growing number of street children and seek to protect their rights.

Below are some activities for references:

  • Find out if there are children living on the streets in your community and see how you can help them.
  • Volunteer at an organization that helps street or homeless children.
  • Donate to CSC or another nonprofit or street children's ministry.
  • Spread awareness of this day on social media with #InternationalDayForStreetChildren.

Observed

International Day for Street Children has been observed annually on April 12th.

Dates

Monday, April 12th, 2021

Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

Wednesday, April 12th, 2023

Friday, April 12th, 2024

Saturday, April 12th, 2025

Also on Wednesday, April 12th, 2023

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