Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Street Children Whose Responsibility?

Street Children Board
Andrew Rosten, The Daily Vidette,  Illinois State University, 4/25/2008
[As a result of urbanization], a lot of fathers are leaving the rural areas for the urban areas to find work," Stewart said. "If they don't find work in these places, they can't go back because of certain attitudes in terms of a male's responsibility for his family, so they abandon their families and leave mom in the villages with all these kids. She can't do it, so a lot of these kids say, 'OK, mom can't take care of me, so I need to just go away.'

These children are in most cases neglected by parents. They survive on rancid leftovers of food often scooped out of garbage cans. They sleep in the dank alleys. Many blame their "cruel" parents in particular and society in general for their predicament.  Some of the children I spoke to recently sleep in abandoned kiosks and shacks. In coastal cities and towns street children sleep in junked boats, abandoned homes, semi-finished houses and dilapidated vehicles, canopies of trees or on the open beach.  Many do not trust anyone. They are security sensitive and always carry knives for self-defence. In some cases, it is these needy children who engage in criminal activities for reasons of sheer survival.  Some of these delinquents may have been brought up by parents who have no respect for the rule of law or who are criminals themselves. 

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