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?.
“It was a privilege to be invited to the launch of the Street Child World Cup at Downing Street. It gives children a voice through football, sales a platform to express their rights and celebrate their abilities – I’m proud to add my support.”
“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.”
“No child should have to live on the streets and I fully endorse this campaign giving street children a voice to claim their rights”