CNDH/Child Protection: 550 Children On The Streets

Ces petits enfants, mendiant dans les rues de Lomé

550 children are on the streets of Greater Lomé and the five regions of the country, said Ms. Irène Aissah-Assih (Vice-President of the National Human Rights Commission, CNDH), after a meeting aimed at to present the results of a study entitled “  Protection of children in difficult situations: case of street children in greater Lomé and the five regions of the country ”.  

“Many children from our families are on the streets. In 5 days, we identified 550 children in street situations. And of these 550 children, 350 are Togolese children,” she lamented.  

The problem of children in difficult situations continues to grow despite advances at the legal and social level. In Togo, there are many of them around major crossroads, markets or mosques, begging. A very sad picture, which raises questions from the authorities, NGOs and especially the media, who continue to sound the alarm.  

And it is in the face of this situation that the CNDH initiated this study last November, the results of which were shared on Tuesday to mark, in a delayed manner, the commemoration of the Day of the African Child placed this year under the theme “Education for all children in Africa: the time has come.” .. The objective is to identify the contours (causes and consequences) of the phenomenon of children in street situations , in order to undertake, in synergy with other child protection actors, approaches to solutions.  

Note that the study involved a sampling of 550 children in street situations, selected randomly with their consent, including 340 in greater Lomé and 210 in the regional capitals and in the town of Kpalimé. Of the 550 children, 424 are boys and 126 are girls.  

Children in the 12 and 15 age group are more numerous in the target population. The study further revealed that these children are mainly of Togolese nationality with a rate of 56.2% followed by Nigeriens with a rate of 25% and also a high rate of Muslim children with a number of 315, i.e. a percentage of 57.3% followed by Christians with a number of 186 or 33.8%.

“We initiated this meeting as part of the commemoration of the Day of the African Child to discuss with all partners involved in the protection of children in order to find an appropriate solution so that these children are integrated into families,” said Ms. Irène Aissah-Assih.  

Representatives of the ministries involved, municipalities, international and national organizations working in the field of child protection were present. The results of this survey will make it possible to better understand the problem of children in street situations, to propose concrete actions, in particular to raise awareness among community leaders and other authorities about the phenomenon of children in street situations and to carry out advocacy actions with a view to of their social reintegration.  

Remember that the CNDH is a national mechanism for the promotion, protection and defense of human rights throughout the national territory. Its mission is to promote and protect human rights; protect human rights defenders; prevent torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in places of deprivation of liberty or any other place that it has identified. It is the custodian of the table of civil society organizations specializing in the defense of human rights. END  

Ambrosine MEMEDE