Restoring the Dignity of Children Living and/or Working on the Street

Side Event at the 16th Human Rights Council

With the co-sponsorship of the Permanent Missions of Italy, Zambia, Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay, and the Holy See

The 11th of march 2011, The Association Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII and the International Catholic Child Bureau organized in conjunction with the Annual Full Day Meeting on the Rights of the Child and co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Italy, Zambia, Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay and the Holy See, a parallel event on the issue of street children

The Association Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII (APG23) is on the forefront in the fight against the root causes that generate the phenomenon of children living and/or working on the streets, and in offering responses aiming to restore their dignity.

APG23 warmly welcomes the initiative taken by the Human Rights Council to tackle during the Annual Full Day Meeting on the Rights of the Child at its 16 th Regular Session, the issue of children living and/or working on the street.

This phenomenon is one of the most complex, difficult and worrying challenges of our century. In spite of the difficulty to quantify the exact number of children that live on the streets, UNICEF estimates a population of nearly 120 million children aged between 6 and 24 years 1 . The phenomenon of street children is a real social emergency involving cities all over the planet, created by the concurrence of factors that vary according to the geographical areas, cultures and histories of countries. In developed countries, behind this phenomenon, there are stories of social ills and loss of values, such as hardship and family breakdown, drugs, alcohol, migration and social displacement. In cities of developing countries, the causes are mostly linked to extreme poverty, an unregulated process of urbanization, mass exodus due to famine, war and drought, and a high mortality rate of parents due to scourges such AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis that overwhelm and stretch the “extended family” coping mechanism.


  • Ms. Carmen SERRANO - BICE Delegate for Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Mr. Xavier LAURE - Int’l. Cooperation Director, Apprentis d’Auteuil, France
  • Mr. John KAKOMA - APG23 Street Children Programme, Zambia
  • Mr. Paul KAOMA - Former street child from the APG23 Cicetekelo Project
  • H.E. Mr. Federico A. GONZÁLEZ, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Paraguay
  • H.E. Mr. Darlington MWAPE, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Zambia


  • Ms. Elena IPPOLITI - OHCHR



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