There are several ways in which dominant members of societies sometimes restrict the rights of children living or working on the streets, reflecting restrictions on the rights of children in streets and public places more generally. Articles 14 and 15 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) require that, within given conditions, children should be able to use streets and public spaces freely for civic, cultural, economic, religious, and political activities. However, urbanisation, with planning that focuses on commercial benefits and privatisation of public spaces, frequently reduces children’s access to outdoor spaces, with many children having only crowded, dangerous streets as social spaces where they can meet and play.1 Laws and bylaws specifically controlling children and young people, such as curfew or restrictions on ‘youths gathering’, can be discriminatory in contravention to articles 1 and 2. The UNCRC requires that police and other agencies work to protect and support children on the streets, and especially those at greater risk of danger.2 Yet police are often hostile to children, especially those in greatest need of support. Such general diminution of rights of children in public places is of special concern with respect to children living and working on the streets, and should, therefore, receive some consideration by the Committee.
Ref: OPEN DEMOCRACy