#RespectUsProtectUs: International Day for Street Children

Every 12 April, FAAI and its international partners celebrate the International Day for Street Children. This day is an opportunity to make them visible. These young people live all over the world and are above all victims of discrimination and violence simply because they are on the street. Today, we mobilise for States to actively fight against discrimination and violence experienced by young people in street situations!

These girls and boys are discriminated against and ignored on a daily basis by the States and society because they do not have their identity papers or because of their appearance: simply because they depend on the street for their survival. For this reason, most of these young people are denied access to their basic rights guaranteed by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, including housing, adequate food, free access to health, education, and protection.

In my experience, young people in street situations in France, in Paris, are seen as undesirables, really categorised as pests, evil, with no future and responsible for everything. 

Dedho experienced the street as a child. 

Watch the full testimony

Indeed, depending on the street to survive means, for many young people, suffering daily violence from adults, including law enforcement officers, civil servants, or other street youth. Girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation. Homelessness, survival behaviours such as begging and vagrancy are grounds for punishment in many countries. 

Thus, these children are above all victims of the legal systems that are supposed to protect them. Rejected, excluded, abused, these children lose confidence in others.

We are not criminals, we are normal people like you.
a young person in a street situation

Too few States have developed a policy for the protection of children in street situations. This results in multiple rights violations that cause street situations and continue. Although this phenomenon is worldwide, the reality and rights of these children are still not well known today. Like all other children, girls and boys in street situations have rights! 

Check out our campaign!