A BLOG POST BY LOUISE MEINCKE, ADVOCACY DIRECTOR AT THE CONSORTIUM FOR STREET CHILDREN Around the world there are countless children who call the streets their home. We believe that street children cannot be considered as a social problem but instead as human beings with full potential to contribute to society and as positive agents of change. They must be able to participate in matters affecting them and be empowered to speak up for the fulfilment of their rights.
That is why the Consortium for Street Children launched the International Day for Street Children, which is celebrated every year on 12th April. The Day provides a platform for the millions of street children around the world to speak up so their rights cannot be ignored. During 2013 315 events and activities took place in 132 countries, and over 5000 people from over 130 countries signed the petition calling for the UN to officially recognise the Day. Some of the events included a marathon and football game (Cameroon), a street children march (Uganda), a balloon release (USA), a drawing competition and film screening (India), and a fundraising concert (UK).
The Day is supported by Aviva, HSBC and Tesco, as well as celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Bianca Jagger, Steven Gerrard, and Danny Boyle and high-level policy makers such as Sir John Major, Lord Malloch Brown and Marta Santos Pais.
We believe that with official UN recognition comes greater exposure, permanence and continuity for protecting and promoting the rights of the most vulnerable children at a national and local level. Investing in street children is an essential ingredient to building a society which respects human dignity and human rights. As Russell Brown MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Street Children said: There have been enough warm words, now is the time for action…We are calling on the UN to make the International Day for Street Children a UN-recognised Day so it has backing of a UN agency".
For more information and to sign the petition go to www.streetchildrenday.org