UN to develop General Comment on street children

At the Street Child World Cup, we welcome wholeheartedly the news that the UN is to develop a general comment on street children as a significant breakthrough for all those working for the rights of street-connected children around the globe.

For the first time, the general comment will offer an authoritative interpretation on the Convention of the Rights of the Child with regard to street-connected children.

It comes decades after it was first proposed and shortly after a group of experts led by Consortium for Street Children went to Geneva to persuade the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that the lack of a clear UN framework for street children means they often slip through policy gaps. The delegation included Manoel Torquato from SCWC’s partner in Fortaleza, Brazil, O Pequeno Nazareno, and Dieudonné Nahimana, of New Generation in Burundi.

Briefly, the general comment can be used to strengthen advocacy, to push for changes in the law, and as a framework for accountability. In essence, it establishes new scope for treating street children as a specific area for policy, something that Street Child World Cup and our partners support fully. Our hope is also that the decision to develop a general comment will boost the campaign, A Crianca não é da Rua, for the first public policy in Brazil.

There is still a long way to go, but the decision to develop a UN general comment is a critical step towards safeguarding the rights of street-connected children everywhere.

To learn more about the UN general comment on street children read Jo Griffin’s article in The Guardian 24 June 2014 – Street children: will the UN comment put their rights in the fast lane?.

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