This article is a continuance of ‘The children of the street – Part 1’.
There are many girls living on the streets, although the figure is lower than in the case of boys because they are more “useful” for families at home, cooking or caring for younger siblings. Girls are also more vulnerable to trafficking for sexual exploitation
and other forms of child labour.
Homelessness is more of a urban phenomenon, but the street children are found in all regions of the world, from developing countries to richer countries. Latin America and India are known for their large population of street children, despite the significant
efforts of some governments and NGOs. AIDS and civil wars in Africa have led to an increase in the number of homeless children as a result of abandonment they undergo AIDS orphans.
The crisis that has shaken parts of Asia, often forces families to leave the children. Unstable political transitions, such as the end of communism in Eastern Europe, led to an unprecedented number of street children due to lack of social security for the
poor, previously subsidized the states.
Children often suffer the effects of political crises, economic and social in their countries more severely than adults, and many do not have adequate institutional support to address their special needs. Eventually, they end up in the streets.
Children are more vulnerable to wind up in the streets are those that have been abandoned by their families, and those who are sent to cities often with the hope that they will be able to earn money for the family.
Those who flee from their homes or institutions also often end up on the street, as they rarely return to a dysfunctional family are subjected to abuses of all kinds. In several areas of the world children with disabilities are also often abandoned, especially
in developing countries.
Life on the street has very detrimental effects for children. This unstable life style, lack of medical care and poor living conditions increase the susceptibility of these young people to chronic diseases such as respiratory or ear infections, gastrointestinal
disorders and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.