The Street Is Not For The Kids

What comes to your mind when you see scenes like these? A mother carrying her baby while selling newspapers at an intersection. A 10-year-old child going around selling their goods to people relaxing at tourist spots. A child performing acrobatics at an intersection when the traffic light turns red, while another child holds out an empty can to collect spare change from motorists. Are these portrayals of poverty in our society? The aftermath of a prolonged pandemic?

Indeed, poverty remains a pressing issue in our country. In Indonesian cities, we can witness scenes like the ones described above. Economic pressures force people to find ways to earn money just to put food on the table. Limited job opportunities mean many have to make a living on the streets.

Children extending their hands, begging for help, evoke a sense of pity, and many individuals respond by giving them money. However, if we truly want these children to have their basic rights fulfilled, such actions can have unintended consequences.

Referring to the four fundamental rights of children according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, engaging in street work violates several of their fundamental rights simultaneously. One of the rights that is clearly violated is the right to protection. Children have the right to protection from discrimination, exploitation, violence, and neglect.

Any form of work conducted by children, especially on the streets, can be categorized as the exploitation of children. Such exploitation itself constitutes a violation of several laws in Indonesia, including Law No. 35 of 2014 on Amendments to Law No. 23 of 2002 on Child Protection and Law No. 13 of 2003 on Manpower. The potential legal consequences for these violations are quite serious.

Another violated right of children is the right to survival and development. Engaging in street activities exposes children to dust and vehicle pollution, not to mention the danger of traffic accidents that constantly looms.

Furthermore, children who work on the streets lose precious time for learning. Their right to receive proper education is compromised in this situation. The Rumah Impian Indonesia Foundation has discovered numerous cases of children dropping out of school due to having to work on the streets.

If engaging in street work is harmful to children, what can be done if you encounter such situations? Firstly, refrain from giving money to children working on the streets. Is it heart-wrenching? There are social institutions committed to assisting such children. Community support can be channeled through these institutions.

Street Contact Division

The Rumah Impian Indonesia Foundation itself adheres to the principle that the streets are not a place for children. If you come across children working on the streets, you can report the matter to the Rumah Impian Indonesia Foundation through our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) using the hashtag #Thestreetisnot4kids.

The Rumah Impian Indonesia Foundation has a Street Contact division that is ready to hit the streets to accompany these children. This division reaches out to and supports children engaged in street work using the distinct Rumah Impian approach. Children are guided as friends who are entitled to have dreams just like any other children.

Since 2006, this division has reached out to numerous children working on the streets. Many children who had dropped out of school have returned to pursue their education and strive to achieve their dreams. Exploited children regain their fundamental rights.

The streets are not a place for children. You can participate simply by providing the aforementioned information. Moreover, you can become a volunteer by registering through our open recruitment process. You can also participate by becoming a donor through our Partner program. With your assistance, we can help Indonesian children preserve their fundamental rights.

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