UN Formally Recognises Rights of Street Children

July 6 2017 — The General Comment on Children in Street Situations has now been published by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

A General Comment is the UN’s legal advice to governments around the world on how to ensure that street connected children have access to the same rights as all children.

At present, many Governments simply do not recognise that street children have the same human rights as others – and this is the first time in history that street children have received this level of recognition.

This is a momentous occasion for street-connected children. It is the culmination of seven years of dedicated campaigning, ground-breaking consultation, and collaboration between street-connected children, the street child NGOs, the private sector and the UN.

The Consortium for Street Children brought together member NGOs, academics, advocacy specialists, politicians and more to work towards this – and it’s taken more than a decade.  The work included organising direct consultations between the UN and over a 1000 street children around the globe, to ensure the UN listened directly to the views of the children themselves. The UN listened, and now, for the first time, the UN has issued much-needed, authoritative guidance to Governments, informing them on how best to bridge this gap and realise street-connected children’s rights.

Our work is far from over, however. This guidance is just the beginning of our new phase of work – to work with our Network and with Governments to make sure the guidance is implemented and becomes a reality for street children around the world.

We already have the commitment of one government – the Government of Uruguay, to implement the General comment in full – and we call on other governments to follow their lead to do the same. CSC is working with the Government of Uruguay and CSC network member Gurises Unidos.  The idea is that we will have a set of recommendations that we can then share with other countries and civil society.

CSC will be sharing a full analysis of the General Comment with Network members over the next few weeks, and plan the official launch in Autumn 2017.

Keep up to date with the progress on the General Comment by following @streetchildren on Twitter.