The Kenyan Coastal city of Mombasa has become a heaven for street children in the resent years. These children come from various parts of Kenya. Their numbers are increasing rapidly and they have become a great security risk in the city. Those who came to this city in mid 90’s are now grown ups, homeless and jobless.
The term ‘street children’ is used for children experiencing homelessness and who primarily reside on the streets of a city. This kind of living being more less a more permanent state for them.
These children differ in age, gender, ethnicity, social class, and have had different experiences throughout their life times.
The causes of their misery are varied but are often related to domestic, economic and social disruptions in the families, including, but not limited to poverty, breakdown of homes and/or families, and political unrest.
What kind of life do they live?
They have no any kind of basic sanitation, no running water.
They have no descent clothing, they wear rags.
They have no food or drinks.
These children in street situation are especially vulnerable to violence and abuse. They are denied access to education and excluded from any kind of basic needs.
Menace to society
These children harass passersby by begging and pickpocketing.
The streets in the city, where they ‘live’ are filthy with litter and smelling bad due to lack of sanitation.
They cause damage to environment, and theft, especially of car parts and other petty thefts have increased significantly.
Most of them use drugs like cocaine and become drug addicts at very young age
Due to the above reasons, the public reactions to the street children has been harsh because they are seen as public menace. They are therefore subjected to verbal and physical abuse and even harmed in some cases.
Rights of children
Rights of the child is a moral claim to a specific standard of treatment that others must obey and respect. These are laid down in the UN Convention on The Rights of Children – a legal document that sets out a comprehensive series of rights, social, economic, cultural and political – to which all children are entitled.
Therefore, having said the above, the public ought to realize that these children, who are in an unfortunate situation, are protected by the law and should be careful when handling them.
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