International Day for Street Children 2021
A snapshot of how CSC, members of the CSC Network and children globally marked the International Day for Street Children
Between 6-12 April, thousands of people all around the world recognised the International Day for Street Children (IDSC). With the Covid-19 pandemic still creating restrictions in many countries, CSC network members had to get creative with their activities, which included radio shows, panel discussions, pop songs, workshops with children, and dialogues with local government and community leaders.
The theme for this year’s IDSC focused on Step 3 of our 4 Steps to Equality Campaign – Access to Essential Services – highlighting street children’s right to education, healthcare, and protection services, among others.
Many street-connected children took part in workshops facilitated by network members to engage children on their rights and support them to write letters to government and local decision makers.
Left: Future Focus Foundation (Sierra Leone) Right: Save Street Children Uganda
Social media was also a vital part of the campaign, with more than 2,000 posts using #streetchildrenday and #AccessforStreetChildren, and a reach of over 65 million, as well as mentions by Times Now, India’s largest English speaking news channel, Iyse Doucet, the BBC’s chief international correspondent, Save the Children India, UNICEF Nigeria, and the UN Special Rapporteurs for Right to Housing and Violence against Children.
Highlights from the CSC Network
Members of the CSC Network celebrated this years IDSC in a wide range of ways, including awareness raising marches, workshops, dialogues with community leaders and government, radio shows and theatre and dance. We've included a small section below.
The Community Development Centre in India organised a meeting with children and stakeholders from the local community, including local government officials and social workers where they discussed different issues street-connected children are facing.
Refugee Voice and Action in Kenya hosted a 6 day event, which included sessions on street-connected children’s basic rights and what they need to achieve their goals, a meeting with religious leaders and government officials to discuss street children’s rights, a training session for parents and a discussion with NGOs and teachers to talk about what needs to be done to protect street children.
Dwelling Places in Uganda carried out the workshops and children wrote a letter that was presented to the Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs during a dialogue spearheaded by the National Children’s Authority. Drawings by the children were displayed at the event.
Also in Uganda, children supported by SALVE International created their annual newspaper to celebrate IDSC, looking at the theme of access to essential services and the Covid-19 pandemic. You can read the full newspaper here.
In Pakistan Search For Justice organised a media forum to engage the Minister for Social Welfare to raise the issue of absence of services for street connected children and to draw the attention of government to come up with a comprehensive strategy to deal with issue of children living in street situations.
There was significant media coverage including TV news and print media around the day, highlighting the need for a national strategy for street-connected children in Pakistan.
We also had more than 100 signatures to our open letter, urging the UK government to ensure street-connected children are not affected by the cuts to overseas aid. Signatories included network members, members of the CSC Research Forum, and notably Virendra Sharma MP, Sir Desmond Swayne MP and Benoit Van Keirsbilck, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The letter will be sent to the UK foreign secretary.