UNCRC General Comment No. 21 on children in street situations published

Date: 24th July 2017
Category: General Comments

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have developed a General Comment on Children in Street Situations.

Children in street situations consulted for the General Comment speak strongly about the need for respect, dignity and rights.

The CRC Committee elaborates its general comments with a view to clarifying the normative contents of specific rights provided for under the Convention on the Rights of the Child or particular themes of relevance to the Convention, as well as offer guidance about practical measures of implementation.

General comments provide interpretation and analysis of specific articles of the CRC or deal with thematic issues related to the rights of the child. General comments constitute an authoritative interpretation as to what is expected of States parties as they implement the obligations contained in the CRC. Existing General Comments include on children's right to be heard, children's best interests, the right to play and adolescent health.

Over the last two decades, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has continually raised concerns about the welfare of street children in its periodic Concluding Observations to State Parties, other General Comments and during annual Discussion Days on the rights of the child. However, until now there has never been an authoritative interpretation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in relation to children in street situations.

The General Comment will provide the guidance States need to scale up appropriate rights-based approaches within this sector, enabling partnerships with non-Government actors to be more agile and more responsive. It carries the potential for better policies, better interventions and better results for children in street situations as well as for children at risk of moving on to the streets.