April 12th marked the 4th International Day of Street Children worldwide. Led by the Consortium for Street Children, this day represents a platform for millions of street children around the world to speak out so that their rights cannot be ignored.
This is the approximate number of children who have no choice but to live and work on the street around the world (UNICEF 2005). We are pushing for official UN recognition of the International Day of Street Children to give the issue global exposure and increase pressure on governments to act.
Take action now and sign the Day of the Street Child petition.
News from Uganda
In Uganda, there are at least 10,000 street children. As in many other countries, in Uganda a life on the street can mean missing out on education, physical and emotional torture, enduring a harsh environment on the street, sexual exploitation and engagement in criminal activities.
ANPPCAN, our partner organisation in Uganda, celebrated the International Day of Street Children, under the theme "If the whole world was listening, what you would say?" to amplify street children's voices.
A survey called "Have your say" was conducted in informal settlements in Kampala, to give street children an opportunity to be heard. Most of the children interviewed were less than 13 years old and many will stay on the street until they become adults.
What did the children say?
They're not demanding much - the chance to improve their lives, to be treated better and to have hope for the future.
The Ugandan media covered the International Day, working with the children to raise their voices and reach more people with their message - that they are first and foremost children with the same hopes and dreams as others.
A procession and a public dialogue gave the children the chance to talk to decision makers, including government. The children spoke about revising strategies, policies and guidelines concerning the big issues they face on the streets.
Add your voice to theirs!
Official UN recognition of The International Day of Street Children will enable many more children to speak out and demand change.