The issue of children in “street situations” must become a priority in all countries

It is undeniable that the phenomenon of street children affects all continents and most countries. This issue must become a priority in any program related to the protection and the rights of the child, regardless of the country.

In this area, a significant breakthrough has been been made with the publication of the General comment No. 21 (2017) on children in street situations in June 2017. The opportunity for the Dynamo International – Street Workers Network to recall the stakes and challenges of such a document.

The stakes of the General comment No. 21

“In the present general comment, the Committee on the Rights of the Child provides authoritative guidance to States on developing comprehensive, long-term national strategies on children in street situations“.

This text is of course not binding but in a general context of repression and stigmatization of children in street situations, it is not useless that each government can henceforth rely on this text to reflect and deal with the phenomenon of children in street situations. Some governments, such as in Uruguay, have clearly expressed their willingness to implement this General comment.

For members of the Dynamo International – Street Workers Network and other civil society actors, it will now be necessary to convince their respective governments or other national, regional or international bodies to take this General comment into account.

More work ahead for street workers…

Such an encouraging text can easily remain unapplied if not given force and vigour.

“The Committee recommends that States widely disseminate the present general comment within government, legal and administrative structures, to children in street situations, parents and caregivers, professional organizations, communities, the private sector and civil society.”

It is essential for all actors in the field and for civil society and administrative bodies specialized in the rights and the protection of the child to widely disseminate this General comment No. 21 (2017).

The Committee on the Rights of the Child also stresses the need for cooperation in this area:

“Cooperation requires the involvement of States, United Nations bodies and agencies, regional organizations, civil society organizations (including child-led organizations and academics), children, the private sector and professional groups. The Committee encourages those actors to foster continuous, high-level policy dialogues and research in relation to quality, evidence-based interventions for prevention and response.”


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The issue of children in “street situations” must become a priority in all countries