Networking meeting in Geneva on Children in Street Situations

On September 28th, Alexandre Widmer, street social worker in Switzerland at the Espace Prévention la Côte, was in Geneva to represent Dynamo International-Street Workers Network during the side event organized before the Human Rights Summit by our partner the Consortium for Street Children (CSC).

Held at the United Nations Palace, the meeting, made it possible to formally introduce the new General Comment on the Rights of Children in Street Situations to representatives of States, the private economy and civil society.

As a professional street worker more used to the streets, Alexandre shares this high level experience and his impressions of this networking meeting organized as a preamble to the United Nations conference.

I was the only street worker

It seems to me that I was the only street worker in the audience. Yet, we are important partners of the work with street youth.

That is why, during my speech, I particularly emphasized our expertise on the field and of the streets, as well as our daily advocacy work on a more local scale. Dynamo International-Street Workers Network can also be a key player in giving a voice to street children and in raising public awareness and information.

A certain “disconnection” with the reality of the field

I have indeed noted a certain “disconnection” with the reality on the field and a logic centered strongly on street children in emergency situation. It also seemed to me that this meeting was mainly aimed at large organizations and NGOs that have a more theoretical approach to street work.

Street workers must be consulted and speak out

Professionals who accompany and follow these children on a daily basis must be represented, consulted and heard at the highest level. For this reason, I wanted to speak out. I wanted to highlight the importance of our contributions. Members of Dynamo International-Street Workers Network need to put take part and provide their specific expertise into these discussions.

The highlights of the meeting

  • The intervention of the Uruguayan representative because he explained concretely the actions put in place on the field and recalled the interest of a long-term holistic approach.

  • The testimony of Mr. Dedho Luamba, former street child, on his experience of the street and the work undertaken with the organisation Apprentis d’Auteuil: “It’s important that I share with you my experience of the street, since you are not in the street”.

Follow-up event in Brazil with members

On 27 and 28 November, at the initiative of the American Bar Association, an international meeting on this topic was organized in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Three members of Dynamo International-Street Workers network participated as speakers:

  • Luis Enrique Hernandez, El Caracol (Mexico), on “Non-discrimination based on social origin, property, birth and other status”.
  • Verónica Müller, Associação de Educadores Sociais de Maringá (Brazil), on “Violence and social cleansing”.
  • Maria Ximena Rojas Landivar, ALALAY (Bolivia) on “the Right to be heard and to expression”.
Twitter widget by Rimon Habib - BuddyPress Expert Developer