Of the Republic of Congo's 1,716,000 children,
69,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
and a further 6,600 are infected themselves. When parents die and there is no
extended family willing or able to care for you, children head for the streets
of the larger cities and towns for survival. It is estimated
that 50% of all street children in the Republic of Congo are orphans and a
significant majority of these and the remaining 50% have fled conflict in the
Democratic Republic of Congo.
Many children also
end up on the streets having been trafficked as street vendors with the Congo being a known destination for child trafficking. These children,
though, tend to have a home to return to, even if that one is one of servitude, where they are sent out onto the streets during the day to beg, sell
or have their bodies abused.
with no where to go have to scavenge rubbish tips as seen in this video and at
night try and find some where safe to lie down and sleep. Of course they are
markedly more at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse. One sixteen year old
girl living on the streets of Brazzaville noted "I was raped twice in the middle
of the night by two young people, whom I could not identify." Another group of street children in the
Republic of Congo are the 7-10% of children with disabilities who are often
socially excluded and out of school. Without the chance to receive an education
and therefore employment, they are reduced to begging on the streets. Although
the constitution of Congo provides protection to those with disabilities, its
implementation is deemed unsatisfactory.