|© UNICEF/ HQ07-0072/Giacomo Pirozzi|
Have you ever visited a city and been followed down the street by a scrum of children asking for money or pens, or desperately trying to sell you gum or some limp flowers? Our visit last week from UNICEF Laos child protection officer, Amy Delneuville got me thinking about one of the world’s saddest, most overlooked groups: street children. Here in the U.S., there aren’t many street children but in developing countries, poor countries, countries fractured by conflict, there are many.
It’s impossible to know for certain just how many children spend their time living in the streets; it’s not surprisingly a very difficult group to track. An estimated number that often pops up often, though, is 100 million. If accurate, that’s 100 million kids living, working, struggling and sleeping on the streets of cities. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be a kid and not know where you’ll sleep that night. Or whether you’ll be safe.