Rabat, Nov 25 (IANS) African cities have launched a campaign to tackle the growing phenomenon of street children in the region.
The campaign kicked off on Saturday in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, Xinhua news agency reported.
Called “African Cities without Street Children,” this pan-African initiative was launched by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) in partnership with Morocco’s National Observatory for Children’s Rights.
The campaign was announced on the sidelines of the 8th Africities Summit held in Marrakech on November 20-24.
The campaign aims to draw everyone’s attention to “the morally unacceptable situation where more and more children who should have been in their family homes and at school in African cities spend their lives on the streets where they are exposed to all dangers.”
It seeks to mobilise all together, starting with electing officials and local actors, to help these children in precarious and vulnerable situations.
The campaign was proposed as the phenomenon of street children is currently emerging as one of the most worrying social problems in African cities.
According to the organisers, over 30 million children are scraping a living in Africa, representing one quarter of of the 120 million street children in the world.
In a message to the participants in this campaign, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI said the phenomenon of street children in Africa “runs contrary to the time-honored values of our African societies.”
He vowed to mobilise African cities to take tangible actions in this regard to reduce children vulnerability within three years.