This report is intended to increase support for a humanitarian cause which has few defenders. It is based essentially on interviews conducted in various countries with street children and those helping them, on experience accumulated over years by field workers from various governmental and non–governmental agencies, and research carried out for the Independent Commission by its Secretariat.
The contents of the report were discussed in detail at various meetings of the ‘ICIHI Working Group on Children. A preliminary draft was then examined at the plenary meeting of the Commission in Vienna in December 1985. Contributions on various aspects were provided individually or in expert group meetings by A. Bequele, J. Boyden, N. Cantwell, C. Dominice, A. Dunant, C. Egger, S. Ek, M. Esnard, P. Light, J. Moerman, D. Nga bonziza, G. Teunissen and P. Taron.
The text also draws on the deliberations of a symposium on the protection of children held in Amman, Jordan, in November 1984, co-sponsored by ICIHI and Radda Barnen. Its recommendations have been published separately. The support provided by Radda Barnen for this project is gratefully acknowledged.
Special thanks are due to M. Fall whose knowledge and ability contributed significantly to the preparation of the report. The research and editorial support provided by S. Zolfaghari and D. Mahalic is also acknowledged with thanks. The demanding job of typing and re-typing was done by A. Toh. Last but not least, we wish to thank Weidenfeld and Nicolson for their precious support in speedy publication of the report.
The report‘s debt to UNICEF publications as well as the valuable work done by the Inter-NGO Programme on Street Children and Youth. The International Catholic Child Bureau, the Anti-Slavery Society, the Minority Rights Group, Community Service Volunteers and many others will be apparent to those who are familiar with the subject.
Any income from sales of this book will be devoted entirely to research on humanitarian issues.
Convenor, ICIHI Working Group on Street Children
Secretary General, ICIHI
Geneva, March 1986