Street Children Africa

Through-out the world hundreds of thousands of children and young people leave their homes for a number of reasons from ill health to abject poverty, or are simply abandoned by adults who are barely able to look after themselves let alone hungry children who may be too disadvantaged to help seek out an existence on the land. Many, too, have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS or have fled domestic violence.

These street children are amongst the most disadvantaged in the world and are not only open to financial exploitation, but sexual abuse, kidnap and even death. In some countries they are rounded up and put in prison, charged with not having an adult to

provide care for them. In other places they are trafficked and taken across borders to work in domestic servitude or as labourers on the land. All without papers. All without rights. UNICEF currently believes the number of street children across the world runs into tens of millions.

It is hard to imagine for many in the west, a life without any form of social safety net. There is no state provision for these children only non-government organisations who do what they can. If these children do not beg, steal or rob they would literally starve to death. They have no prospect of an education and so no prospect of a job or providing for any children they may have in the future. Unless people like yourself are prepared to help, these children will have no future. Below there are a selection of pages about street children in different parts of Africa which go into more details about the challenges and dangers these children face.

It is hard to get up to date statistics for street children, because, by their very nature they are elusive and different to collect data about. As such statistics for street children are often out of date, but they do show patterns. Here are some recent street children statistics:

  • A study in Ethiopia found that street children normally worked 2-3 hours a day on the streets both before and after school. Most children in Ethiopia start working the streets at around 10yrs old.

  • There are approximately one million children living on the streets of Cairo, although the impact of the recent revolution there is not yet known. 82% of these children cite abuse at home for their circumstances. 30% of these children reported that they took drugs to relieve pain, hunger and violence.

  • There are a reported third of a million children living on the streets of Kenya with girls often forced into prostitution earning just 30p for each client.

  • Over 95% of street children in Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria have been stigmatised as child witches and abandoned by their parents and forced to live on the streets.

  • In South Africa most street children are aged between 13-14yrs and state they end up on the streets because of family poverty, overcrowding, abuse, neglect, family disintegration and HIV/AIDS.


Street Children Africa

Street Children Africa

Street Children Africa

Street Children Africa



Angola Street Children

A short video documentary about street children in Angola.

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Mali Street Children

More children are turning to the streets in fragmented Mali.

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Republic of Congo Street Children

A short video and facts and figures about street children in the Republic of the Congo.
More >


Street Children Africa

Street Children Africa

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Street children in Africa, like all children on the continent, are technically protected by the provisions of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, also known as ACRWC or the Children's Charter. It came into force in 1999 and amongst its provisions is Article 25 which states "Any child who is permanently or temporarily deprived of his family environment for any reason shall be entitled to special protection and assistance." It also guarantees all children the inherent right to life, education and health and the right to be protected from all forms of economic exploitation. Download it here.

There are many charities working with street children in Africa, however we recommend the following charity that helps street children by providing outreach assistance, healthcare, baby care, education, vocational training, counselling, and sponsorship:


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