Children in Street Situations and their Rights

Daniel Stoecklin, Irene Rizzini, Phillip Mizen, Victoria Johnson, University Geneva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter explores how the problematization of the phenomenon of children in street situations – how they are construed, deconstructed and reconstructed – is essential to understanding the major challenges they face in exercising their rights. It also considers how these definitional controversies influence the rights extended to these children. By exploring how these understandings have changed, the chapter further reflects upon how children in street situations experience violations of their rights, develop survival strategies and how governments establish strategies and policies in response. Central to this discussion is the defining importance of the 2017 General Comment 21 of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. The General Comment aimed to clarify and refine the definition and conceptualization of children in street situations, while also remaining alive to the continuing problems involved as evidenced by the gap between theory, rhetoric and practice. In addressing these issues, the chapter reviews evidence from the global south by drawing upon examples of research from South America, East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. By understanding how research relates to this process of redefinition and reconceptualisation, this chapter seeks to contribute to overcoming the obstacles to implementing a rights-based approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Social Problems
EditorsRajendra Baikady, Sajid SM, Jaroslaw Prezeperski, Varoshini Nadesan, M Rezaul Islam, Gao Jiangio
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-68127-2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2023


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