The International Day of street children is celebrated every year on 12th of april, in order to highlight the issues of the children in street situations all across the world especially before the law, policy makers and social oriented communities, to raise voice against the oppression of society towards these street children and make people take stand for them, to give them an opportunity to be recognized, respected and protected so that no child of the street remains abandoned or left behind. Azad Foundation on the occasion of this day intends to promote the issue of child birth registration and favours the count-every-child campaign.
The issue of street children including birth registration have become more vulnerable across the world through the passage of time having captured almost every third world country mostly the Asian countries. Study shows that there are almost 150 million street children universally and these children are at a high risk of child protection issues such as sexual abuse, corporal punishment, drug/solvent abuse and especially birth registration. There are almost 200 countries who are facing this drastic and evil social reality of an increasing number of children in street situations having no access to normal life.
The International Day of street children was launched in 2011 by the Consortium for Street Children (CSC), the leading child protection network recognized internationally, working with 135+ countries in order to protect the street connected children from violation and vulnerability and identify them as equal citizens of the state. The International Day of Street Children deserves such importance for multiple reasons such as it promotes the cooperative and collaborative power of unity and humanity, it challenges people to think about the street connected children, forces the government and higher authorities to recall the ignored rights of the children in street situations and remind us that these children are also the assets of the nation and worth equally.
The notoriety of this day teaches us to identify the underprivileged minorities of society that are made deprived of basic rights such as education, health, shelter and to be counted as citizens. These unidentified or un-counted children who mostly remain homeless mitigate to child labour and children being treated as adults in criminal justice systems. because they are not recognized as citizens. The High Court has issued the ordinance in january 2020 that every child must be counted while this decision was long made by The Supreme Court in 2011. Since children are greatly abused and humiliated regularly in every field of life, the aforementioned ordinance helped out a lot.
Azad Foundation celebrates this day every year to promote the message globally to all government, private sectors and the donor communities to prioritize these children in the child protection and education policies because the lives of these street children are not to be wasted on streets at the mercy of society. Even now the call to action policies often remain at great failure regarding this matter and implementation of the court’s order seems dull too. Azad Foundation connects to the communities and NGOs that work collectively and individually for the protection of the rights of these street children to enhance policy development and intervention of birth registration. AF altogether with these social welfare communities await the International day of street children so that we strengthen the vision to spread the urgency of this dire need of awareness regarding street connected children focused issues globally, improving current policies, justice systems in public/private authorities and institutions.