Street children are a global problem that world countries are struggling to overcome and eradicate. Basic needs, such as safety, belonging, and physical needs, are not provided for them.
Myles Ritchie defines a street child as a person under the age of eighteen who, for various reasons, leaves their family, lives temporarily or permanently on the street, and is inadequately provided for by responsible adults. The Childhope organization distinguishes three subgroups of street children based on their connection to their families. The first group consists of abandoned children who live alone, without contact with their families. The second group includes children who do not live with their families but still have occasional contact with family members. The third group includes children who live on the streets but have regular contact with their families.
According to the dictionary definition, the concept of subculture encompasses the unique culture of a particular group of people that is different from the culture of which it is a part. Members of subcultures share common values, slang, and ways of expressing themselves (such as clothing style and artistic activities). They share some objects in which they gather and socialize. Behaviors of subcultural groups often deviate from social ideals and norms, so stereotypes and prejudices are common occurrences.
Organizations such as UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the United States government are not consistent in their estimates of the number of street children. UNICEF estimates that there are around thirty million street children in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that the number of children ranges from ten million to one hundred million. The US government estimates there are one hundred and fifty million street children.
Street children from different parts of the world differ from each other. They have multiple reasons for living on the streets, different experiences with government and non-governmental organizations, and different habits. Feda is a six-year-old girl who migrated from Ethiopia to the neighboring country of Djibouti with her mother. They live on the street together. Feda is talkative, easily laughs, and likes to share. Social workers at the center for the most vulnerable children, led by Caritas and supported by UNICEF, report a change in her character due to the influence of all the difficult situations she experiences. Her mother works as a commercial sex worker and does her work in the presence of the small girl simply because Feda has nowhere else to go.
In 2000, Andrej Naterer went to Makiivka to research the phenomenon of street children. They have organized their residence around a system of hot water pipelines.
Most children survive by begging. The activity does not earn them enough money, so they must find additional activities to get more money. These activities are most commonly the collection of scrap iron and bottles. They resell them.
Naterer reports the appearance of a drug called baltushka among children in the summer of 2004. The drug was introduced to children by local drug addicts. Children legally buy all substances at a local pharmacy and store.
Written By: Tamara Mezga Hovnik