From April 8th – April 15th children, NGOs, and individuals around the world joined the CSC Network in recognising International Day for Street Children (IDSC). Following on from last year’s hugely successful IDSC which focused on Step 1 of our 4 Steps to Equality Campaign, this year’s campaign theme was focused on Step 2 – Protect Every Child, centring the theme on ensuring #SafeSpacesForStreetChildren – a theme which has taken on an added importance in light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government-imposed public health measures, such as lockdowns and self-isolation orders, forced many of our members to cancel or postpone their celebrations, and led CSC to take the decision to make this year’s IDSC an exclusively digital campaign. The CSC Network and a host of non-members engaged with the campaign nonetheless, taking to social media to show their solidarity with street-connected children during the pandemic – we’ve included a handful of examples of how our network engaged below.
In the lead up to IDSC we reached out to our network and asked for recordings of the children they work with talking about what makes them feel safe. You can watch a playlist of the recordings of children from Lebanon to Vietnam, and from Serbia to Tanzania:
“I am feeling safe because I am getting my basic needs, including food, shelter, and education”
We also partnered with network member Mobile School to share games on the theme of ‘Safe Spaces’ on their StreetSmartPlay platform.
We were also thrilled to have the support of several high profile individuals, such as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, the UN SRSG on Violence Against Children, and Ann Skelton, a Member of the UN Child Right’s Committee.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has urged states to respect #childrights in responses to #COVID19 + to create measures to protect #streetchildren and prevent arrests when they can’t comply with lockdowns and curfews #SafeSpacesForStreetChildren #StreetChildrenDay
— Ann Skelton (@askelton_CCL) April 10, 2020
During lockdowns and curfews #streetchildren and #homelessyouth often
have nowhere safe to go. This year’s #streetchildrenday was harder for many children and young
people around the world. We join the call for #SafeSpacesForStreetChildren during the #COVID19 pandemic pic.twitter.com/1AfpAvOcZg
— UN SRSG on Violence against Children (@SRSGVAC) April 16, 2020
How the CSC Network got involved
In India, street children were interviewed by CHETNA as part of their ‘Video Street Talk’ series, where they shared their experiences of life in India’s lockdown as part of an IDSC special.
In Indonesia, children shared their thoughts on what makes them feel safe with Yayasan KDM.
What makes street children feel safe? This is the voice of those who have been there. Let’s listen to it & hopefully each of us, adults & even those who have the authority to make policies, can create a real sense of security for them. #safespaceforstreetchildren @streetchildren pic.twitter.com/fePaGBl90O
— Yayasan KDM (@YayasanKDM) April 15, 2020
In Nigeria, the staff at Education for Purpose Initiative shared their thoughts on what they want for street-connected children.
Hear what our team has to say about the #Nigeria they want for #streetchildren. You can lend your voice to this advocacy cause by sharing what you think needs to be done to create #safespacesforstreetchildren using the hashtag #streetchildrenday pic.twitter.com/tqLRxTGKWQ
— Education For Purpose Initiative(E4P) (@Edu4Purpose) April 14, 2020
Laughter Africa shared videos of their IDSC celebrations as well as images of posters created by children in Sierra Leone on what makes them feel safe and their demands to the government.
A message from our street children to those countries suffering from #COVID19 on #streetchildrenday #KeepHoldingOn #Glee #Hope #solidarity #SafeSpacesForStreetChildren pic.twitter.com/BSM04bF96y
— Laughter Africa (@Laughter_Africa) April 12, 2020
In Uganda, SALVE International published a ‘News from the Streets’ newspaper written by children for IDSC on the theme of protection from violence and safe spaces.
‘News from the Streets’ newspaper written by kids in Jinja for International Day for Street Children!
📰👀 English (https://t.co/TuZLWlaeVM)
📰👀 Luganda (https://t.co/VIUZPtyrWc)
Pls share and show we are working together towards no street called home! @streetchildren pic.twitter.com/U0GosS8Ekk
— SALVE International (@SALVEint) April 12, 2020
StreetInvest launched a series to recognise IDSC, shining a light on the Street Workers around the world who are continuing to work in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ‘They Depend On Us’ series highlighted what would happen if street workers were not able to reach street children during the pandemic.
‘Our absence on the street at this crucial moment would be catastrophic for these young people.’ – Wycliffe, a street worker in Mombasa on what would happen without their presence during the Coronavirus pandemic. #streetchildrenday #streetchildren pic.twitter.com/FQapow0gGa
— StreetInvest (@streetinvest) April 10, 2020
Street Child United shared videos of their Young Leaders speaking about how they are staying safe during Covid-19.
🗣️ Our Young Leader Jhosleyn in Bolivia 🇧🇴 tells us how she and her family are following government guidance during lockdown in order to stay safe.#StreetChildrenDay #SafeSpacesForStreetChildren #IAmStayingSafe #IAmSomebody pic.twitter.com/tiZbc9Aejq
— Street Child United (@iStreetChild) April 9, 2020
In Ghana, Adamfo Ghana produced a video addressed to the president, calling on the government to take action and provide safe spaces for street children.
The children of #Ghana living on the streets are calling on the president to take action and provide safe spaces. A safe abode is with the lock down and #Corona crisis more important than ever. Please help: Retweet!@streetchildren #StreetChildrenDay #SafeSpacesforStreetChildren pic.twitter.com/PYmMYylvi3
— Adamfo Ghana (@AdamfoGhana) April 7, 2020
Sin importar quiénes son ni dónde viven, gobiernos y la sociedad debemos trabajar para garantizar que los derechos de niñas, niños y adolescentes conectados con calle sean respetados.
Conoce más 👉 https://t.co/2y76TdjH4y#StreetChildrenDay #SafeSpacesForStreetChildren pic.twitter.com/IPvrEyVjTz
— Fundación JUCONI México (@juconimexico) April 15, 2020
Les enfants accompagnés par le REEJER, en RDC, montrent leur compréhension du #COVID19 à travers des dessins.
“Les gestes barrières, garder une distance de 1m”
Il est urgent d’offrir aux enfants sans toit les moyens de respecter les gestes barrières! #StreetChildrenDay @AAuteuil pic.twitter.com/yV86WYrWDj
— Fondation Apprentis d’Auteuil International (@Apprentis_FAAI) April 13, 2020
Os governos devem implementar com urgência medidas para garantir que crianças em situação de rua e jovens sem-teto possam se proteger, se isolar e ter as informações necessárias para obter apoio, cuidados e tratamento de saúde adequados. #SafeSpacesForStreetChildren #Covid19 pic.twitter.com/8qtNrQneFx
— Anistia Internacional Brasil 🕯 (@anistiabrasil) April 12, 2020
There’s need for #SafeSpacesforStreetChildren during the #COVIDー19 pandemic ahead of #IDSC2020 pic.twitter.com/JOidbTHvNC
— Save Street Children Uganda (SASCU) (@sascu) April 2, 2020