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Making Global Connections: children, the streets and us

Making Global Connections: children, the streets and us

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Making Global Connections: children, the streets and us

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  1. Making Global Connections: children, the streets and us Sarah Thomas de Benitez 1 November 2011

  2. Start with Children • Listen, observe, discuss, reflect • Stories of multiple deprivations - before touching urban streets ‘My stepmother used to say she and my father quarreled because of me – she did not want to take me in with her other children. But my father wanted to take me. After big arguments my stepmother used to beat me – even when it was not any fault of mine. My father never used to defend me or stopped my stepmother.’ Geeta, a girl aged 11 or 12, India ‘I am always asking myself about the things that happened to me, did I do something wrong to pay for it every day? All the things that I faced with my father and the persons who I worked with and all the abuse that I faced on a daily basis must be punishment for a thing that I didn’t do…’ a 15-year old boy in Alexandria, Egypt’

  3. Children and connections

  4. Developing street connections • ‘Push’ factors – Deprivations • The fewer/weaker connections a child has with home, extended family, school, neighbourhood clubs and activities… the stronger the urge to develop significant connections in other environments. Whether alongside or instead of… • ‘Pull’ factors – Choice / Tactical Agency • ‘Street-connectedness’ suggests that children start to develop or strengthen their connections with and within the street when other connections are weakened, temporarily fractured, chronically damaged or broken…

  5. ‘street-connectedness’a paradigm shift On the street: • Child as social actor developing relationships with people and places (in everyday lives) • Focus on children’s emotional and cognitive associations with public spaces as well as physical presence on the street (children can be street-connected even when in a shelter or home) • Child who spends time working, hanging out or living on the street forms attachments there (not dependent on categorization such as in/of street) • Recognises that street-based experiences make particular contributions to identity development

  6. Children with Street Connections • ‘’Children for whom the street is a central reference point – one which plays a significant role in their everyday lives and identities’

  7. Useful for Research: Typology of street-connectedness

  8. Useful for interventions • Connections with street (nature/type & intensity) • Connections with family, neighbourhood, school, services • Understanding rights deprivations in a holistic context • Restoring, building on existing, and developing new connections to rights

  9. Systemic Support - Gill & Jack (2008) Poverty 129

  10. Useful for child protection systems • Strengthen healthy connections • Prevent multiple deprivations • Partnerships – with NGOs and private sector • Data collection around connections • Connected children who trust adults and know their rights are better able to defend them

  11. Street-connections, policies and governance… and us. Must include: • Law Enforcement for children (+ sanctions) • Budgets for childhood • Data Collection with children • Economic Policies for child development • Social protection policies for child inclusion (social connections) • International support for children