Children Living in the Street Census

By Constance Ndeleko

Social and Protection Amb. Cs. Ukuru Yattani will be leading an outreach team from its ministries in the counties of Mandera and Wajir on the 17th-18th of July. This is to enhance and create awareness about its mandate and functions amongst the people of both counties.

Street children have rights should be respected and protected always. These children have been neglected and forgotten in society and it is time that we give them a chance to be involved and participate in decision making and social change in society.

Despite the Ksh7.9bn that orphans and vulnerable children were allocated in the 2018/19 budget, children are still living in the streets with all the push and pull factors still unresolved. This trickles down from death/abandonment by breadwinners and available money from begging.

Tens of millions of children are living or working on the world’s streets. Street Children are vulnerable to different forms of Child Abuse cases that render them defenseless especially with no one to give them care and protection.

Over the years there has been an increased number of urban street children and this is with the notions that they will better their lives in the cities and towns more rather than the village life. They are pushed into living and working on the streets due to poverty, domestic abuse or ideal freedom perceived to be found on the streets.

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This has fueled an increase in crime rate such as child trafficking, kidnapping, child prostitution, and Online Child Sexual Exploitation since if they get hold of devices that can link them up to the internet then they are at great risk of being exposed to pornography at all levels.

It is important to keep count of the number of street children in the nation for them to be included in the national tally especially when budgeting is being done. Additionally, the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund (SFRTF) will launch a Census for Street Families at KICC on Wednesday 24th of July.

It has become pretty difficult to survive the streets when they cannot afford basic medical health care services when physically violated and abuse, and dangerous working conditions. Their rights remain greatly threatened and undermined in many ways.

I believe a lot can be done to protect these children and ensure they enjoy their rights as other children in the society. We just need to create for them a chance and a platform for them to realize their full potential to reach their optimal growth and development.

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