“The hands that were raised yesterday to beat us on the street are now raised to honour us”

Posted on the 19th May 2018

At the Street Child World Cup: The Future Depends On You General Assembly young people from 20 countries across the world united their voices to call for the rights and protection of street-connected children.

The General Assembly and art exhibition took place in Moscow’s Amber Plaza. A representative from each of the 23 teams that took part in the Street Child World Cup: The Future Depends On You spoke on behalf of their team and street-connected young people from their country.

Roshan, captain of Team Nepal Boys, said: “The hands that were raised yesterday to beat us on the street are now raised to honour us. Until a few months back we were termed as “khate”, we were attacked as criminals, but today we have an identity as national players. We are the change, we are the voice.”

The young people’s statements addressed the situation of street-connected or socially excluded young people in their countries. Collectively they called for an end to the stigmatisation of street-connected young people, protection and support from their governments, for all children to receive a legal identity at birth and access to education and healthcare.

The young people had crafted their messages through the Street Child World Cup: The Future Depends On You Congress workshops, which were run over the course of the previous week. The Congress workshops were led by StreetInvest, our Official Child Participation Consultant and Facilitator for the Congress.

Team India demand the rights of children through theatre

The art exhibition was made up of work by the young people taking part in the Street Child World Cup: The Future Depends On You and professional artists. Engaging the young people in the arts allows them to express themselves, build confidence and communicate beyond the language barrier.

Young people enjoy the General Assembly art exhibition

The General Assembly and art exhibition was attended by FIFA World Cup winner Gilberto Silva as well as the ambassador of Burundi, and representatives of the British and Brazilian embassies. The event was hosted by Street Child United Alumni, young people who have taken part in previous Street Child United events and are now working to support other young people from similar backgrounds.

At the Street Child World Cup: The Future Depends On You football is more than a game. This message was best summed up by Muhammad, Captain of Team Pakistan Boys, who finished second in the boys tournament. He said: “We may have lost the finals but we will the rights of street children in our country.”

Street Child United would like to say a massive thank you to Action/ Modul Pro for their support in organising the General Assembly and art exhibition.

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