Today is the Universal Day of the Child and the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Many advancements have been made ensuring all children’s rights are upheld, but there is much more that needs to be done. Access to education or training is one of many rights children living and working on the streets are routinely denied.
At the United Nations in September 2000 world leaders made a promise that every child would be in school and learning by 2015, but progress has stalled and 58 million children across the world are being denied their right to an education.
#UpForSchool is building a global movement that no government can ignore – the world’s largest petition uniting everyone globally who shares the belief that every child has the right to an education, without danger and without discrimination. The petition will be presented to the UN General Assembly in 2015, putting pressure on political leaders to keep their promise and commit to education for ALL children.
On Wednesday 19th November Street Child World Cup joined hundreds of youth activists, VIPs and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi at the #UpForSchool London launch – ‘Our Future, Our Rights’ youth rally. Key speakers included Gordon Brown, school friends of Malala Yousafzai and child rights advocates Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan, Camfed Founder Ann Cotton and ODI Executive Director Kevin Watkins. Sarah Brown, founder of A World at School who are organising the campaign, announced that over 12 million signatures had already been secured or pledged.
UN Special Envoy for Education Gordon Brown commented, “Education is the bridge between what you are and what you can become.”
Street Child World Cup has signed this petition as we believe that every child has a right to education and this includes street children. Children living and working on the streets have complex and specific needs; they are less likely to be able to access education due to pressures of daily survival, substance abuse, the need to work for a living, unstable home or family situations, and the lack of a formal identity. Having often experienced severe trauma or abuse, psychosocial support is essential on many children’s journey away from the street – and this includes in educational settings.
Reintegrating street children into mainstream formal education if they have missed several years of school is difficult and must be carefully considered. However, provision of appropriate education or training opportunities is essential to ensure street children can look forward to the opportunities and futures that all children have a right to.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon sent a video message, “Human rights must include children’s rights.”
Street Child World Cup calls on the world’s Governments to listen to the individual needs of children living and working on the streets, and to act ensuring these children are no longer denied their rights, so that street children receive the protection, rehabilitation, education and opportunities ALL children are entitled to.
We are in the process of speaking to our network of partners working on the front line supporting street children across the world in how they can use the #UpForSchool petition to support their own campaigning, ensuring Governments address the wider social issues that stop street children accessing education. Watch this space.
If you would like to find out more or would like to set up your own #UpForSchool petition because you believe that every child deserves an education and you want to ensure street children are included, then please get in touch. email@example.com
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