Street children and political violence: A socio-demographic analysis of street children in Rwanda

Article


Dona, G. 2003. Street children and political violence: A socio-demographic analysis of street children in Rwanda. Child Abuse & Neglect. 27 (3), pp. 253-269.
AuthorsDona, G.
Abstract

Objective: The aims were (1) to examine the profile of African street children and to assess the link between street children in Africa and political violence (2) to undertake a systematic examination of causal factors of street children in post-genocide Rwanda (3) to situate this analysis in the context of the socio-cultural and political impact of the genocide on Rwandan communities.
Method: Observational mapping examined the profile and activities of Rwandan street children. Structured interviews were carried out with 290 children in four regional towns to obtain information on socio-demographic, familial, educational background, causal factors surrounding street life involvement, psychological well-being and relationship to the street. Focus group discussions and key informant interviews examined the relationship between street children and the broader Rwandan society.
Results: Street children in Rwanda were predominantly adolescent boys, almost half of whom were homeless (42%), with a high proportion of orphaned children or children who had lost at least one parent. Two variables predicted homelessness: child’s guardian and reason for being in street. Qualitative accounts of children conveyed the impact of death of family members, repatriation, imprisonment of parents and poverty on their lives.
Conclusions: The analysis highlighted the need for community based support for children in alternative guardianship care and for policies to support the reintegration of male youths in post-conflict welfare strategies as prevention strategies for street children.

KeywordsRwanda; violence; children
JournalChild Abuse & Neglect
Journal citation27 (3), pp. 253-269
Year2003
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1404
Publication dates
PrintMar 2003
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Dec 2011
Additional information

Citation:
Veale, A. and Donà, G. (2003) 'Street children and political violence: A socio-demographic analysis of street children in Rwanda'. Child Abuse & Neglect, 27(3), pp. 253-269..

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