Dear Hon. Hajia Lariba Abudu,
Today is International Day for Street Children. This year, the day is dedicated to keeping street-connected children safe.
Living, working and relying on the streets for survival exposes street-connected children to many dangers. Whilst on the street, children can experience abuse, exploitation, stigmatisation and criminalisation as well as restrictions on access to essential services and education. These dangers are amplified for street-connected children without a trusted adult to rely on.
At Starlight Foundation, we want to ensure governments’ obligations to street-connected children are prioritised by highlighting the urgent need for the implementation of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child’s General Comment 21 on Children in Street Situations (UNCRC GC 21).
To that end, I write to you to ask you to take action to keep street-connected children safe by:
1. Providing child rights training to police forces to improve officers’ awareness of the major rights abuses suffered by children on the streets and to ensure children who wish to report crimes receive appropriate and respectful support from officers.
2. Ensuring street-connected children’s access to a trusted adult through the provision of high-quality training, guidelines and accreditation for street workers, whose expertise in upholding children’s rights and psychosocial wellbeing must be respected by governments.
3. Recognising effective interventions to keep street-connected children safe, and provide adequate recognition and investment to maximise the impact of these interventions.
4. Make sure teachers and healthcare workers have robust policies and practices in place to keep safe the street-connected children they come into contact with. Teachers and healthcare workers should be encouraged to disseminate information to street-connected children on local organisations that can offer support.
We know time and resource limitations may seem to make these measures difficult to implement. However, we are here to support your efforts. We encourage you to contact us at email@example.com to discuss ways of working together to make the above measures achievable and UNCRC GC 21 a reality.
I hope you will take this opportunity to demonstrate our country’s commitment to protecting all children and to prioritize investment in policies and initiatives to keep street-connected children safe.
Founder & CEO
…Let us save the world together