Academic journal article Indian Social Science Journal

Street Children A Criminological Study of Causes and Effects

Academic journal article Indian Social Science Journal

Street Children A Criminological Study of Causes and Effects

Article excerpt


Street children's are the gift of modernization and urbanization to the society were kids will be left on street to dwell and grow like some unwanted animals are plants, which is rampant in cities nowadays. Street children are those for whom the street is merely home to them, the problem is not living but living on streets. There is an alarming tendency by some law enforcement personnel and civilians, business proprietors and their private security firms, to view street children as almost sub-human. They are faced with the demons of physical danger, poverty, hunger, homelessness, epidemics and illiteracy. These children are often found as orphans, engaged in hazardous work and petty crimes or end up as victims of prostitution and sexual abuse. Not only the Government but also Non-governmental Organization should wake up and work in concern of these children for their better tomorrow.

KEYWORD: Street Children, Parents Patria, Neglect


Millions of children throughout the world are living on the street either permanently or temporary. These children are the most deprived of all the basic facilities and needs. In respect to children the inherent nature like innocent, vulnerable, dependent, curious, active and full of hope will never change. What to do to change the circumstances they are faced with and the situations they live in? According to Human Rights Watch, street children refer to ' Children for whom the street more than their family has become their real home. It includes children who might not necessarily be homeless or without families, but who live in situations where there is no protection, supervision, or direction from responsible adults'.

Henry Mayhew first used the term "street children" in 1851 when writing "London Labour and the London Poor ", although it came into general use only after the United Nations year of the child in 1979.Prior to these street children were referred to as homeless, abandoned, or runaways. The most commonly used definition comes from UNICEF and categorizes street children into three groupings.

1. Children at risk: are defined as poor children with particular risk factors, such as poverty and lack of schooling, that may lead to their partial expulsion from the home and spending a portion of their life on the streets.

2. Children on the street: work on the streets during the day and return home at night. Their jobs often consist of menial labour, such as shoe shining, selling candy and other goods, washing and guarding cars, or carrying goods.

3. Children ofthe streets: have very limited family contact and live and sleep on the streets with little, if any, adult supervision. Another category of street children is "abandoned street children", who have no contact with their parents whatsoever (very young street children whose parents are abandoned street children are included in the definition of abandoned street children).

Living on Street is not the passion but it is out of compulsion, it is evident that the most frequently mentioned reason for street children is lack of supportive and functional family, which also includes death of family member Family, divorce or separation or loss of job (Rotheram-Borus & 1996). Where as many researchers also agree that family abuse leads children to run away from home and start to leave on street (Milburn& 2006). While (Springer 2001.) The most common reason for running away from home is to escape physical abuse or negative family environments. Apart from this the major factors responsible for becoming street children are migration, environmental degradation, economic stagnation and urbanization (Pathak 1998).

While street children received national and international public attention, that attention has been focused largely on the social, economic and health problems of the children - poverty, lack of education, AIDS, prostitution, and substance abuse. …

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