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Street Children Human Rights And The States Duty

Human rights are a product of democracy. These are the basic rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. The fight by people against tyranny and all types of oppression never ends. Studies on street youth have undergone a radical shift in perspective since the turn of the twenty-first century.

The paper specifically examines the risks connected to being homeless or in shelters and the paper also talks on how street children become the neglected part of the society, these issues are prominent in developing countries like India and it is a big issue.

For my research I have relied on various articles related to human rights especially articles relating to rights relating to street children, also I have relied on many philosophies by philosophers like Thomas Aquinas and John Locke: one of the most important "Natural Human Right" is right to life. right to life does not mean just mere existence with all the basic human rights which are guaranteed by the state.

Then also violation of Human rights still exists by other form like forced labor, forced prostitution, immoral trafficking, low wages, gender discrimination etc. This paper thus focuses on some of the flaws in the current system as well as how these street children end up being the system's most neglected component.

In India, there are an estimated 15-20 million street-connected children (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)) whose path to adulthood is often marked by hunger, disease, and most importantly, labor. Indian street children are particularly vulnerable. Because they make such little money, Indian street children typically prefer to be independent or work multiple jobs.

Particularly those who have been homeless for a longer period, street children occasionally participate in theft, pickpocketing, drug trafficking, and prostitution. Most street kids do work for an average of 8 to 10 hours per day at various places to support themselves. Numerous academics have investigated India's street children's issues and many philosophers have taken this issue into concern and have developed many philosophies. 78% of people currently have health issues, 43% of which have been reported to be chronic or serious.

These are the basic issues faced by street children in addition to this their basic human rights will also get violated through forms like forced labor, forced prostitution, immoral trafficking, low wages, gender discrimination etc.

They are the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, street children deal with a variety of issues, including harassment by law enforcement officials, physical and sexual abuse by local adults, an unstable lifestyle, lack of access to healthcare facilities and educational institutions, and insecure living conditions. Age and gender both affected the sufferings they underwent.

Young children are subjected to physical and psychological abuse, such as beatings and underpayment; teenage children are especially vulnerable to sexual exploitation. They run a higher risk of becoming involved in early sexual activity and drug dealing, as well as child trafficking. They experience a lot of suffering in their environment on the streets, and their rights are frequently violated.

Numerous academics, government representatives, and social workers actively assist underprivileged children in urban areas, Numerous studies have also been carried out and published using a variety of techniques and goals. Based on these earlier works and studies, the researcher looked at the issue of street children with a focus on various effects. Researchers like Thomas Aquinas and John Locke have done much research and come up with their philosophies.

Membership in the community is seen by Neo-Aristotelian thinkers as essential to human existence. Homelessness is a nonmembership that goes beyond just being unethical. It prevents a person from being able to lead a life in which moral decision-making occurs.

States have recognized in Article 11 (1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living, including to food, clothing, and housing and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. Article 12 states that everyone has the right to the highest attainable standard of health.

States must furthermore guarantee according to Article 2 (2) that all economic, social, and cultural rights "are exercised without discrimination of any kind as to � national or social origin, property, birth or other status", the latter includes housing status. These rights are not even known to the children on the streets as they are deprived of primary education and they are exploited by the people who hire them to work in the poor health conditions especially production units, one such main example is Faridabad's bangle industries there they hire especially children and due to these poor work conditions and hazardous gasses, due to which they lose their eyesight and can cause many other problems with their health and future.

Homelessness as a violation of the right to life

The duty of States to defend the right to life enshrined in Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also stems from the obligation to prevent and end homelessness. In addition to causing early, preventable deaths, homelessness-especially if people are exposed to it frequently or over a longer period-violates people's rights to live lives in dignity.

The Human Rights Committee has underlined in General Comment No. 36 (2019) that:
The duty to protect the right to life requires States parties to take extraordinary measures of protection towards persons in vulnerable situations whose lives have been placed at particular risk. The obligation to protect life implies that States parties should take appropriate action to address societal issues that might result in direct threats to life or make it difficult for people to live their lives in dignity.

The deprivation of indigenous peoples' lands, territories, and resources, as well as widespread hunger and malnutrition, homelessness, and others, may fall under these general conditions. Measures to ensure that people have immediate access to necessities like food, water, shelter, health care, electricity, and sanitation are among the actions demanded to address adequate conditions for defending the right to life. Additional actions to promote and facilitate adequate general conditions include social housing programmes.

Economic and social life

They live their life in a miserable situation deprived of their basic necessities of life like:
  • Food (freedom from hunger)
  • Clothes
  • House and adequate standards of living and many more

The responsibility to prevent and end homelessness rests with the states

States cannot claim that all economic, social, and cultural rights are subject to progressive realization, meaning that taking action to end homelessness may only be considered at a later stage of development. According to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, preventing and ending homelessness is a "minimum core obligation [of States] to ensure the satisfaction of, at the very least, minimum essential levels of each of the rights."

In this regard, the Committee has made it clear that a "State party is prima facie failing to discharge its obligations under the Covenant if any significant number of individuals is deprived of essential foodstuffs, of essential primary healthcare, of basic shelter and housing, or of the most basic forms of education."

Additionally, states are required to make "maximum available resources" available to ensure that everyone under their jurisdiction has access to basic housing standards as well as other social, economic, and cultural rights Plain language translation of: Before considering other expenses, such as starting a programme to improve the housing quality for those who are already in housing, public funds must first be used to house the homeless.

Second, it also means that for States to continue to follow their obligations under Articles 2 (1) and 11 (1) and under the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, they must demonstrate that they lacked the necessary resources to reduce and eliminate homelessness.

The national housing strategy should "reflect genuine and effective consultation with, and participation by, all of those affected, including the homeless, the inadequately housed, and their representatives," according to the states. States must also determine the full scope of homelessness and substandard housing within their borders.

In this research paper I have given an idea about street children's human rights, how they are getting violated and about the state's responsibilities on protecting these children's rights and how they can do that. Also i have relied on many philosophers and philosophies while writing this research paper for better understanding of the topic .In order to end violence against street children, we hope that governments will pass laws that forbid corporal punishment and safeguard street children from being exploited.A policy that is considerate of street children is imperative to save these underprivileged children and society as a whole.

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