Exploitation and violence, abuse and malnutrition, no-one to care for them and no school education. Street children are defenceless. They are discriminated against and branded as criminals. Most children who live in the street have already experienced violence and negligence. Kindernothilfe supports projects in which street children can return to a well-ordered life.
The expression "street children" describes three different groups of girls and boys:
Approximately 80 million children belong to the last group. Many of them live in the cities of Latin America.. The youngest are only five years old. It is very difficult to collect exact figures but experts assume that the number of street children will continue to rise. This is based on the fact that more and more people are migrating from the country to cities. Soon every sixth resident of a city will be younger than eighteen.
There are many reasons why children land on the street: The parents die, violence or abuse occurs frequently in the family, children have to do exploitive work to earn money to support the family, parents can barely feed their children.
In the street they are faced with numerous dangers. Girls and boys are forced into prostitution, raped, girls get pregnant against their will. Drugs, hunger and illnesses threaten the lives of children and young people.
What action is Kindernothilfe taking?
Projects for street children not only include places of refuge for young people for whom the street has become the centre of their lives. Kindernothilfe's partners in the field and their staff also stand up for the rights of the boys and girls. They constantly speak out against the arbitrary acts of the police and killer commandos and they draw public attention to violence and question the values and the behaviour of society.