Magazine article New Internationalist

Street Children in the Philippines

Magazine article New Internationalist

Street Children in the Philippines

Article excerpt

Glaring inequalities have been the curse of the Philippines, a land blessed with abundant natural resources. Over 50 per cent of the population lives in dire poverty and land reform is long overdue. Undeclared civil wars are effectively being waged in rural areas as resistance to land grabs and movements for better wages are crushed by military and paramilitary force. In the cities, gleaming supermalls are built over the demolished homes of the poor. The Government's wooing of transnational corporations threatens the viability of domestic industry.

The Government estimates that there are 222,400 street children with up to a quarter living in Metro Manila alone. Some NGOs think the figure is several times higher. UNICEF estimates 5.85 million children live in slums under the threat of violent evictions and more than 100,000 are forced into prostitution and pornography. …

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