Before our formal coming together, CSC and StreetInvest have a long history of working collaboratively to advance change with and for street-connected children. Here, we look back at some of this work to see how our new partnership can inform our work going forward.
The first explicit mention of street children at the UN
When UN General Comment 21 on Children in Street Situations was first announced, partners including the Consortium for Street Children and StreetInvest seized the unique opportunity for street-connected children and young people to make their voices heard and to influence the highest level of policy-making.
CSC partnered with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to produce the General Comment, and StreetInvest were a critical contributor to the consultation process, ensuring that over 1,000 street-connected children’s views were heard, in 28 different languages. At the time, this was the largest number of children who had ever been consulted in person in the development of a General Comment.
Bespoke child rights training
In 2020-1 CSC and StreetInvest developed a resource pack, “empowering street-connected children to participate in advocacy”. This pack was designed to promote street children’s participation and skills in advocacy by building the skills, knowledge and confidence of street children as spokespeople and advocates, and building the capacity of organisations working with street-connected children to develop and implement participatory advocacy activities.
As some of society’s most marginalised individuals who experience multiple deprivations of their right on a daily basis, this pack aims to support street-connected children in fully understanding their right to be involved in decisions which affect them and to feel confident about taking part in these processes.
Both organisations have been involved in a number of complementary innovative research projects involving street-connected children. For example, StreetInvest’s award-winning Growing up on the Streets project trained street youth as research assistants and through them, tracked the life trajectories of over 200 children on the streets of three African cities, over three years. The Consortium for Street Children is currently involved in unpacking and understanding the barriers to tackling the worst forms of child labour through collecting and analysing the life stories of working children in Nepal and Bangladesh, as well as continuing to update and maintain our PILnet-award winning Legal Atlas.
With our combined 45 years of experience, this merger is bringing together two organisations with a shared goal to provide a powerful platform to support street-connected children both on the streets and in the corridors of power. With our network of over 200 members worldwide, and a combined 45 years of experience, both organisation will come together under the CSC brand and we will continue to progress through CSC’s refreshed 5-year strategy. As this strategy maps strongly onto StreetInvest’s own, we are confident that both organisations can work together under this plan ahead of plotting out our next 5-year strategy together in 2023.
We welcome any questions and comments about this announcement. Please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org