Members of the Children’s Human Rights Network will be proposing a resolution about human rights violations against street children at the Amnesty AGM in April 2012.
In the light of the ICM decision to give greater emphasis to campaigning on children’s human rights and the current interest by the UN Human Rights Council on issues of concern to street children, AIUK requests the IS to research human rights violations against street children in Central and South America, and particularly Brazil, using the opportunities to campaign provided during the Football World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.
The UN Human Rights Commission held a special session to look at the rights of, and abuses against, street children, in March 2011 and as a result commissioned a special report to be presented to an Expert Panel in Geneva in November 2011 and a requirement to present research findings on state interventions with street children, examples of good practice and the voices of the children themselves to their session in March 2012 Further details on the study can be found here.
In 2010 in advance of the Football World Cup in South Africa, a Street Children World Cup was run by the Amos Trust, their South African partner NGO Umthombo, supported by the Consortium for Street Children. Helle blogged about the event here. The event had eight national teams (from Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe) and hosted a two day campaigning conference, which highlighted cases of round-ups of street children by the South African police in advance of the World Cup – and as a result of the media publicity, got assurances that this would not happen. Anyone who attended our speaker event ‘People don’t care whether we live or die’ – Violence against children in the home and on the street at the end of 2010 would have heard Chris Rose of the AMOS trust talking about the Street Children World Cup. (You can read about all of the speakers at our event here).
The conference event also led to the release of the Durban Declaration, reflecting the main issues raised by street children during the campaigning conference. You can find links to the details of the Durban Declaration here.
The Amos Trust and the Consortium for Street Children, with a Brazilian NGO partner and corporate support, are organizing a 2014 Street Children World Cup in Brazil which will be on a larger and more ambitious scale with at least 20 country participants and a key campaigning conference with the children team members to explore their rights and take back the issues to their own governments. This will be a particular opportunity to campaign for street children in Brazil and other participating countries and the organizers would welcome Amnesty International’s support on the issues that are likely to be raised by the children. There are already signs that the Brazilian authorities are considering slum clearance in advance of both the World Cup and the Olympics and there is a clear need for Amnesty to monitor this under its ‘Demand Dignity’ campaign. There is also a strong likelihood of round-ups and expulsion of street children from the event areas as was threatened in South Africa.
The development of a campaign on children’s rights around these events may also provide support for the initiation of Amnesty Sections in South and Central America, with children’s rights being seen to have more public support and be less politically controversial than some other Amnesty concerns.
We hope that this resolution will enable Amnesty to focus upon the plight of vulnerable street children and the human rights violations that they can so often be the victims of.
We would really like to know what you think about the resolution – please use the comment section to share views, information or questions!
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