A PLACE IN SOCIETY? STRENGTHENING LIVELIHOOD OPPORTUNITIES FOR STREET CHILDREN – A RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH

John Trent, Astrid von Kotze

Abstract


Most peoples’ encounter with street children is at a robot or walking along the pavement, where
they try and avoid neglected-looking young boys or girls sleeping, begging or walking
unsteadily while sniffing on plastic bottles filled with cobbler’s glue. We know little of their
lives as our interactions are often brief and withdrawn. Whether we think of them as homeless,
desperate, “victims of harsh circumstances” or a nuisance in need of care and rehabilitation, we
swiftly delete their presence from our minds and move on. As Glauser (cited in Van Beers,
1996:195) suggests, “in the eyes of a large proportion of society, including policy makers and
implementers, street children disrupt the tranquillity, stability and normality of society”.
Because of this public perception, children of the street are often convenient culprits and a
target of blame for our own sense of insecurity, fear and inadequacy in a competitive world that
demands ever more.

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15270/45-2-214

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