SESRIC has recently launched a new outlook report titled “Situational Analysis of Street Living Children and Street Working Children in OIC Countries”. The report highlights the root causes leading children to the street and the risks children face while living or working on the street. Amongst these causes are poverty, conflict, cultural norms and attitudes, restricted access to education and family factors. While on the streets, children face numerous risks including sexual abuse, violence and exploitation, drug use and health risks.
The OIC Member Countries, in comparison to developed countries, tend to experience higher number of street children with more severe conditions. The number and the condition of street children is diverse amongst the OIC countries due to the differences in economic, social and political contexts. Some of the OIC countries are better equipped to deal with street children while others are not as well prepared.
The study explores the situation in five specific OIC countries: Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and Bangladesh. Each case highlights a different aspect of the causes of street children. In Egypt, family breakdowns have been a major driving force for street children while Bangladesh case shows the importance of migration and natural disasters in forcing children to resort to the street. In Lebanon and Turkey, the influx of refugees from Syria have contributed to the increase in street children. Finally, in Pakistan, children on the street cited domestic violence and inaccessibility to education as a reason for their decision to work or live on the street.
The research indicates that OIC countries have made significant progress in terms of child rights and protection. However, there remains much work to be done regarding the integration, protection and well-being of street children. The report offers numerous policy recommendations at the OIC level and at the country level to improve the situation of street children.
To draw attention to the situation of street children in OIC countries and share the outcomes of the study, SESRIC organized a seminar on 25 January 2019 at its headquarters in Ankara, Turkey. Speakers from SESRIC, UNICEF and Ankara Social Sciences University presented their knowledge and expertise on the issue of street children. The event also provided a platform for academics, policymakers, and experts to discuss the major causes and challenges street children face in the OIC countries with the aim to deduce sustainable and appropriate responses to this salient issue.
Situational Analysis of Street Living Children and Street Working Children in OIC Countries (English)