Rio, it was a blast!
Ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, street-connected children from around the world took part in the first Street Child Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They represented their countries, won medals, spoke out about their rights and became ambassadors for street children everywhere.
Olympics in Rio
Over 10 days, the teams took part in Olympic-style track and field events at some of Rio’s most iconic landmarks. They took part in activities from art to capoeira and shared their ideas and experiences with each other.
“We too have values, beliefs, morals and principles. We will be listened to.”
“We are Somebody”
At their own Congress they learnt about their rights and shared their ideas on how governments can help improve their lives.
At the end of the Congress, they presented their Rio Resolution, calling for their countries and communities to act and protect all street children’s rights.
"I’ve read the Resolution with great interest and I find it truly inspiring. We take good note of the Resolution and we will reflect it in our work as appropriate, as well as share it with relevant UN offices."
Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, former UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
Art is used to help young people be creative, make friends and express themselves. Through painting, theatre, music and dance the young people overcome language barriers, have fun, laugh together and reflect on what’s going on.
“I should be a role model to street children like me. I desire to be the best guide for them.”
Usha, Team India
The message was loud and clear
Every member of every team returned to their country having had their voices heard and with a sense of pride in their achievements. They came to Rio as athletes and returned as ambassadors for street children everywhere.
Read the Rio Resolution
Signatories: thirty-four former street children from: Brazil, Argentina, Great Britain, Egypt, Burundi, Mozambique, Pakistan, India and the Philippines
The General Assembly of the Street Child Games, meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 15-18 March 2016:
Reminding nations of their commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which states that all children are entitled to all rights, regardless of their circumstances,
Guided by delegates’ personal experiences of living or working on the streets, and representing others still on the streets worldwide,
Emphasising specific rights most frequently denied to children living or working on the streets: the right to Protection from Violence (article 19), the right to Education (articles 28 & 29), the right to a Legal Identity (articles 7 & 8):
Declares that violence is a result of not being listened to. Governments must work with street-connected children to create laws that prevent them from being subjected to violence and abuse
Demands that all police training includes how to understand and relate to street-connected children, and that this training invites the participation of street children themselves
Urges that governments stop forcing street-connected children into ‘care centres’, which only continue to put us at risk of physical and emotional violence
Asserts that street children have the right to education. All governments should ensure enrolment of street children in schools, regardless of background, identity papers or resources, and support families to enable children to stay in school
Advises that teacher-training must include understanding of the emotional and educational needs of street-connected children
Reminds governments that schools should be a place of safety for children. The Assembly demands that governments ban corporal punishment and emotional abuse in schools.
Emphasises that every child has the right to be a full citizen, regardless of whether they have a home or an address
Recommends that specialist services must be provided to enable street-connected children to possess a legal identity; this process must be simple and free. We must appear on the national census
Proclaims that street-connected children need love, respect, and to be seen.