Children are abandoned, orphaned, or thrown out of their homes. They have no choice and finally end up on streets. It may be because of the mistreatment, neglect or that their homes do not or cannot provide them with even the basic necessities. Many children also work in the streets because their earnings are needed by their families. The reasons for these children's homelessness may be interlinked with social, economic, political, environmental causes or a combination of any of these.
Family breakdown, Armed conflict, Poverty, Natural and man-made disasters, Famine, Physical and sexual abuse, Exploitation by adults, Dislocation through migration, Urbanization and overcrowding etc.
Lack of affordable housing, Changes in the industrial economy leading to unemployment, inadequate income supports, the de-institutionalization of patients with mental health problems and the erosion of family and social support. Factors that increase an individual's vulnerability, Physical or mental illness, Disability, Substance abuse, Domestic violence, Job loss.
Estimated more than 100 million people are homeless worldwide and over 1.2 billion lack adequate housing. 3 million people are homeless in every developing country and 18 million live in inadequate housing. 100,000 people sleep on the streets, 44% of homeless are female, 12% of homeless people are children under the age of 12. Women and Children are the fastest growing group of those who are homeless in developing countries, there is a deficit of 6.6 Million housing units, equalling 20 million homeless people, who live in favela (shanty town), shared clandestine rooms, hovels or under bridges and viaducts, or are squatters. Millions homeless peoples are in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Nigeria, Palestinian, Philippines, Russia.
Developing countries are vulnerable to extremes of normal climatic variability, and climate change is likely to increase the frequency and magnitude of some extreme weather events and disasters. Adaptation to climate change is dependent on current adaptive capacity and the development models that are being pursued by developing countries. Various frameworks are available for vulnerability and adaptation (V&A) assessments, and they have both advantages and limitations. Investments in developing countries are more focused on recovery from a disaster than on the creation of adaptive capacity. Extreme climatic events create a spiral of debt burden on developing countries. Increased capacity to manage extreme weather events can reduce the magnitude of economic, social and human damage and eventually, investments, in terms of borrowing money from the lending agencies. Vulnerability to extreme weather events, disaster management and adaptation must be part of long-term sustainable development planning in developing countries. Lending agencies and donors need to reform their investment policies in developing countries to focus more on capacity building instead of just investing in recovery operations and infrastructure development.
World’s media news explores the relationship between women's and children's homelessness in the context of existing rights legislation and cultural attitudes. It argues that children's homelessness cannot be understood in isolation from the economic precariousness of their mothers and their inequality in relation to a range of human rights. The paper draws upon a recent study of homelessness in nine developing countries (Peru, Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Egypt, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and China) to highlight how, despite the adoption and ratification of a raft of protective instruments, political and cultural attitudes place women and children at risk of homelessness. It also highlights some examples of interventions to support women's and children's rights to a safe home.
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