Our partner organisation in Brazil, diagnosis Pequeno Nazareno, is leading a national campaign calling on the government to formulate the first-ever public policy on street children. Since 2005, the campaign Criança Não é da Rua (child not of the street) has been gathering support nationwide as it builds momentum towards ensuring the rights of street children are enshrined in law.
The campaign grew partly out of the awareness that while policies exist on single issues such as child labour or child abuse, no policy covers the multiple and complex needs of street children. At the same time, street children are automatically excluded from all social programmes that require their school attendance or a fixed address, for example.
PN’s founder Bernardo Rosemeyer, says: “We are very well-equipped to work with street children but not every organisation is in the same position as us. A public policy on street children would help all the entities that work with these children and their families in Brazil.”
After consultation with representatives from 600 groups and bodies in Brazil’s 26 states, the campaign has come up with 26 resolutions it wants the Ministry of Social Assistance to address. These include measures on education, shelters and family life, as well the regulation of the profession of social educator and the creation of a national databank. It is hoped that the proposals will be considered for inclusion into law by summer 2014.
The campaign, which has the backing of the national Secretariat of Human Rights, is mapping the situation of street children nationwide for the first time, and in August eight young people who have experienced life on the streets will travel to Brasilia to have their say on what any new laws should include.
Pequeno Nazareno, which is providing the boys’ team for the Street Child World Cup, hopes that the event will help to highlight the campaign to achieve far-reaching change in Brazil.
“Street Child World Cup is an opportunity to let the world know that there is a movement for change in Brazil; that there is now a campaign calling for a public policy to address the situation of street children,” says Bernardo Rosemeyer. “This is a chance to grab the world’s attention.”
“No child should have to live on the streets. I commend the Street Child World Cup for providing a platform for the rights of street children to be heard.”
“When ever people come across me they laugh. It seems like my mouth is zipped because they talk for us. I wish they could give us a chance to talk for ourselves.”
“I experienced hardcore street life in my youth. I know what it’s like. I congratulate the Street Child World Cup project in it’s commitment to bring attention to the plight of Street Children through the power of football.”