Street Life in Pakistan: Causes and Challenges
This article is published in the Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research and is free to read online.
This paper unveils the experiences of street life in Pakistan from an emic perspective. It reveals some of the complexities and potential risks to the children living on streets. The research was conducted in Islamabad-Rawalpindi and data was collected through a survey and in-depth interviews from boys aged between 7-18 years. The paper illustrates that children who escaped insecure and unfriendly environment at home were in turn exposed to insecurity, abuse and harassment in the public spaces. Yet, the findings show that despite the various problems encountered on the streets the respondents asserted on having a sense of agency. To reduce and overcome the vulnerability of the street children and to ensure their inclusion in the society the research recommends that the phenomenon requires serious attention which should be in interdisciplinary ways with interventions at multiple levels. Combined efforts are required on part of government, anti-poverty programmes and civil society. Importantly while designing policies and programmes for the street children special consideration should be given to their lived experiences and they should be considered as individuals with agency
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