The Street Child Cricket World Cup Finals Day at Lord’s
Posted on the 8th May 2019
“If you respect us, you will listen to us. If you listen to us, you will protect us. Please protect us.”
On Tuesday 7 May 2019 young people from eight countries played cricket at Lord’s and demanded the rights of street-connected children everywhere. Team India South won the cricket, but all the young people showed they are champions.
Street Child United would like to say a massive thank you to the young people for being so courageous in sharing their messages and their stories. We’d also like to thank StreetInvest, the Consortium for Street Children and Baker McKenzie for supporting the young people to develop their messages of change. To deliver them at Lord’s, the Home of Cricket, was an incredibly powerful statement that these young people are somebody. Please read the Teams’ messages and share them to help amplify their voices.
“When we came to the Street Child Cricket World Cup, we learned why it is so important to have a legal identity. We need to be able to prove that we are citizens of Bangladesh so that we have rights and dignity. Without a legal identity, I have no rights as a citizen of Bangladesh. We call on the government to create laws to provide a legal identity for all street children; to stop engagement of all children under 18 in any form of labour, particularly hazardous and dangerous work; to ensure primary education for all children; and to make a new law to stop all marriages for young people under the age of 18.”
“Young people in the UK face a lot of barriers. We are often stereotyped – people associate us with gangs, drugs and violence. We are so much more than this. We are not asking for favours – we are demanding our rights. We demand from the government more funding for mental health awareness and support, educational programmes and opportunities, a level playing field for all young people, and a platform for our voice. Will you listen?”
“I am very glad to be here today as a street child who got the opportunity to come to Lord’s to play cricket and to have my voice heard on behalf of other street children. We do not have the right to identity and gender equality and do not have access to education and healthcare. No child should work to earn for his or her food. We call on the government to act on these issues and to ensure that all children have these rights.”
“As street children we have no protection, and face many difficulties. We live on the streets because we have no place of our own. If we are asked to leave the streets, where will we go We, street children from Chennai, voice our need for protection through the platform provided by Street Child United. We call on the government to respect the rights of street children and accept us as part of society. The government or police must not disturb or hurt us. They must not move us by force – this is totally against the rights of a child. To protect street children, basic necessities and facilities like clean bathrooms, toilets, quality water, clean food, medical facilities and quality education must be provided for free to all children who live on the streets. If you respect us you will listen to us. If you listen to us, you will protect us.”
“We want to have our voices heard across the world. We want all children in Mauritius to be treated equally, whatever their background or ethnicity. We demand that our government provides homes for poor families as a right. We demand that our government gives equal rights to all children, to provide formal education for children up to the age of 16, and also to provide healthcare for all children. Finally, we call on our government to raise awareness of issues around drug trafficking and addiction for children and child abuse. We believe that if you listen to our demands, we can have a better world for all street-connected children.”
“I am here today representing all other young people in Nepal like me and to share their stories and problems with all of you and the whole world. I am also here to demand that the rights of street children are guaranteed. I want all street children to have the knowledge and skills and realise they are treated equally and be nurtured to be equal citizens so that they can contribute equally for their countries. While living in the streets there was no proper clothing, very little to eat and physical and emotional abuse. Services like education and health were far from our reach. To wear and eat just enough survive we had to walk in dangerous and hazardous conditions, which are not made for children. I believe all children should have the same rights. If you believe this, then we ask you to:
Ensure all children have access to equal and quality educational and health services, free of cost.
All children are given legal identity (birth certificate) by their government and that these documents are easily accessible to everyone.
Street children should be provided with platforms to showcase their skills and talents.
This Street Child Cricket World Cup event has brought us a step closer to achieving this. I urge you all to join hands together with us to make this happen sooner rather than later.
“On the streets, children face physical, psychological and sexual violence. Every one of us has the responsibility to protect children and we would like to see children living in safe, supportive environments. We are children, and we want the government to protect children and to give them social services including education, better healthcare and all the rights that other children have so that we can grow and develop. We would like this message to reach everybody – children, adults, police, community and the government.”
“We demand that our government hold parents more accountable for failing to adequately care for and protect their child. Too often parents leave the child unattended, which can result in them being physically, emotionally and sexually abused. We also call on the government to provide greater access to health, education and sporting facilities.”
All Star Game
Alongside the SCCWC 2019 tournament, we held an All Star Game to help amplify the voices of the young people.
A massive thanks to the All Star teams for supporting the Street Child Cricket World Cup. The teams were:
Naomi Dattani (Captain) – Middlesex Captain
Izzy Westbury – BBC TMS, Telegraph
Ben Cajee – BBC Sport
Charlie Webster – Sky Sports, Radio 5 Live
Sonali Shah – BBC
Nirali Hathi – MCC
Monty Panesar (Captain) – England Ashes Winner
Oliva Rae – Scotland and Middlesex
Dan Norcross – BBC TMS
Frances Quinn – The Great Britsh Bake Off Winner
Noreen Khan – BBC Asian Network
Keri-anne Payne – Olympic Silver Medalist
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