India: Home of the World's Largest Street Children Population

India: Home of the World's Largest Street Children Population

  • Submitted By: teafa
  • Date Submitted: 11/07/2010 2:45 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1378
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India is home to the world’s largest population of street children, estimated at 18 million.[32] The Republic of India is the seventh largest and second most populous country in the world. With acceleration in economic growth, India has become one of the fastest growing developing countries. This has created a rift between poor and rich; 22 percent of the population lives below the income poverty line. Owing to unemployment, increasing rural-urban migration, attraction of city life and a lack of political will, India now has one of the largest number of child laborers in the world.

Street children are subject to malnutrition, hunger, health problems, substance abuse, theft, commercial sexual exploitation of children, harassment by the city police and railway authorities, as well as physical and sexual abuse, although the Government of India has taken some corrective measures and declared child labor illegal.

According to data by the Street Educators’ Club, the number of street children in Vietnam has shrunk from 21,000 in 2003 to 8,000 in 2007. The number dropped from 1,507 to 113 in Hanoi and from 8,507 to 794 in Ho Chi Minh City. In the meantime the number of migrant children is increasing. This number is, however, unconfirmed owing to varying definitions of street children. Some experts mention several different categories of street children in Vietnam: "children who have run away from home or who have no home, and who sleep on the street; children who sleep on the street with their family or guardian; children who have a family or guardian and who usually sleep at home, but work on the streets; economic migrants who rent rooms with other working children; and bonded laborers".[33]

There are almost 400 humanitarian organisations and international non-governmental organizations providing help for about 15,000 children, who live in especially difficult conditions.[34]
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