Street children are the most seen but not heard of!
You do not have to be homeless to know that life on the streets is tough. Especially hard on kids. Kids need to be educated. In the right setting, kids love to learn. But it is challenging to learn when you are on the streets. Children are rather exploited, victimized, and tortured as the national community fails to realize their rights. Many children end up using drugs and alcohol to escape the hardships of life.
The International Day for Street Children raises awareness about the millions of children driven to the streets because of domestic violence and poverty. The day gives a reminder of what should be a reality rather than a dream. It reminds us to ensure that street children should have the same access to services, resources, care, and opportunities that other children have. Amplifying the voices of the less privileged so they make their views known and putting an end to the discrimination street-connected children around the world face daily.
Children should not have to work. They should not have to beg for food or money. The International Day for Street Children reminds us to value and cherish the world’s youth and to help them claim back their dignity as they plunder in poverty.
Ghana has the obligation of making the right to education for everyone ‘deliberate, concrete, and targeted towards the full realization of the right to education. Rather, the national policies are targeted to a specific group of children and adults which leaves the stigmatization of street children unbearable.
We have the immediate obligation to provide access to education without discrimination of any kind. But why is it so that street-connected children are hardly found in classrooms but are rather found in adult settings trying to provide for their families? Children are being deprived of being children and are ending up in unimaginable situations.
We must provide for equal rights regardless of your status and where you live. The progressive realization has been made but is it enough?
We act as if we do not have an international obligation; the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [UNCRC] has been signed and ratified but these rights continue to be ignored. We call on the Government of Ghana and all interested stakeholders to ensure that, the rights of street children are recognized and included in our national policies and legislation as more children are ending up on the streets than in a classroom.
Starlight Foundation believes the rights of street children cannot be ignored.
To mark the International Day for Street Children – which is being supported and celebrated by countries across the globe – we urge people to join the campaign and help bring street children one step closer to accessing their fundamental rights as set out in the UNCRC.
To support the cause, volunteer your time and resources to aid street children around your community. You might be surprised by the number of street children in your community. By contributing and supporting local efforts to help a homeless child, you save a whole family.
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