The police treat us badly. They hit us. Not for any particular reason. . just because they feel like it. They have hit me lots of times. They hit with their rifles, or with sticks, on our backs and stomachs. And sometimes they just punch us in the stomach with their hands. They also take our paint thinner and pour it over our heads. They have done that to me five times. It is awful, it hurts really bad. It gets in your eyes and burns; for half an hour you can not see anything.
The above testimony is from a 15 year old street child in Guatemala. Street children across the world are subjected to horrendous levels of violence, which often takes place in the hands of agents of the state - the very people who are supposed to protect them and guarantee their rights to a happy, safe and fulfilled life.
This year in November the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child celebrates its 20th anniversary. We want to use this opportunity to draw attention to the rights of street children, and put pressure on the world's governments to ensure that street children are no longer subjected to these unacceptable practices - BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Please sign the petition and let the world know that this is an issue that people like yourself care about and want to see the world's governments act on.
The Consortium for Street Children's 'Realising Rights: Stop Violence Against Street Children' campaign are calling for:
1. Training and sensitisation of police in (street) childrens rights, needs and protection issues;
2. Decriminalisation of so-called status offences and review of national security legislation;
3. National zero-tolerance awareness-raising campaigns on violence against street children;
4. Wider justice reforms, inclusing increase pay, more female officers, independent complaints procedures, legal assistance.