Research report - National Child Labour Action Programme for South Africa (1).doc

It is estimated that about one third of street

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It is estimated that about one third of ‘street children’ are ‘of the street’, while the rest are ‘on the street’ i.e. working there but not living there. Only a small proportion of these children are formally orphans or homeless, but many are functionally homeless because of cruel and disinterested parents or step- parents, alcoholism, cruelty, and eviction. Homeless children – both girls and boys – are vulnerable to rape and to being forced into survival sex for money or protection. They are also used by drug dealers to ‘carry’ drugs. Many of their other income-earning activities are very marginal. Among Cape Town street people – both adults and children – recycling and casual jobs together account for 44% of the total means of survival. Rehabilitation of children living on the street involves long-term work. This can only begin when a child is in a secure environment with stable and loving caregivers. The work currently being undertaken by the non-governmental sector in terms of street shelters is a first step but remains constrained by serious lack of resources and /or the development of minimum standards of intervention. Efforts are being made in the direction of building capacity of personnel in shelters but unless these shelters can access greater resources they are not likely to keep highly qualified staff to provide rehabilitation services or to plan for long term interventions. In addition there is a need for greater public awareness about children living and working on the streets to stem the tide of negative
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public opinion. Appropriate measures to address the situation of such children include: (126) Facilitating the reunification of children living in the street to their families or extended families, provided that circumstances would be caring. Lead institution: DrSD* . Secondary institution: LG . New Policy? Existing policy, although difficulties with implementation are sometimes experienced . Once off cost : nil . Recurrent cost: moderate, but forms part of existing budget. Time line: ongoing. (127) Reintegration of street children through shelters and homes, with increased state support to such shelters. Lead institution: DrSD* . Secondary institution: NGOs . New Policy? Elaboration of existing policy . Once off cost: moderate . Recurrent cost: moderate. Time line: within two years of adoption of policy. (128) Giving support while the child is on the street , including the provision of at least basic education to ensure minimum-level literacy and skills. This could possibly be done through halfway houses where children could gradually be phased into or back to the education system. When implementing Education White Paper 6 on inclusion, programmes can be adapted in this regard. Lead institution: DrE . Secondary institution: NGOs . New Policy? Elaboration of existing policy . Once off cost : moderate (further design) . Recurrent cost: moderate. Time line: plan to expand to be in place within three years of adoption of policy.
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