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[Street children].

Authors
  • Roncević, Nevenka
  • Stojadinović, Aleksandra
  • Batrnek-Antonić, Daliborka
Type
Published Article
Journal
Srpski arhiv za celokupno lekarstvo
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2013
Volume
141
Issue
11-12
Pages
835–841
Identifiers
PMID: 24502109
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

According to UNICEF, street child is any child under the age of 18 for whom the street has become home and/or source of income and which is not adequately protected or supervised by adult, responsible person. It has been estimated that there are between 100 and 150 million street children worldwide. Life and work on the street have long term and far-reaching consequences for development and health of these children. By living and working in the street, these children face the highest level of risk. Street children more often suffer from the acute illness, injuries, infection, especially gastrointestinal, acute respiratory infections and sexually transmitted diseases, inadequate nutrition, mental disorders, and drug abuse. They are more often victims of abuse, sexual exploitation, trafficking; they have higher rate of adolescent pregnancy than their peers from poor families. Street children and youth have higher rates of hospitalization and longer hospital stay due to seriousness of illness and delayed health care. Street children/youth are reluctant to seek health care, and when they try, they face many barriers. Street children are invisible to the state and their number in Serbia is unknown. Recently, some non-governmental organizations from Belgrade, Novi Sad and Nis have recognized this problem and tried to offer some help to street children, by opening drop-in centers, but this is not enough. To solve this problem, an engagement of the state and the whole community is necessary, and primary responsibility lies in health, social and educational sector. The best interests of the child must serve as a basic guideline in all activities aimed at improving health, quality of life and rights of children involved in the life and work in the street.

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