An estimated 100 million children between the ages of 5 and 18 live on the streets in less developed countries, for a variety of reasons. These children can be classified into two broad groups of street youth, based on whether they live at home or accept the streets as their home.
The first group of street children must rely on the streets to support their families. Often compelled by their parents to work as hard as they can, they take any job that requires rudimentary skills or education, such as shoe polishing, newspaper sales, begging, and sometimes prostitution or other illegal activities for a meager income.
The second group of children accepts the street as their home and has no ties to their families or siblings. They flee their homes due to conflicts with parents or family members and typically have no other place to go.
Living on the streets exposes these children to harmful peer behaviors, including using violence to dominate their peers, abusing alcohol and drugs, and engaging in premature sex, leading to various consequences. Understanding the reasons behind streetism can help address the issue and support these vulnerable children.
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