Created: 15 April 1998
In 1991, the Burundian authorities expressed concern for the first time about the growing number of street children in Burundi’s cities. Since the beginning of la crise in October 1993, the number of street children has only increased.
Many street children have lost either one or both parents. Widows, in particular, are having trouble providing for their children. They generally have little or no schooling or training and cannot find work. Other children were separated from their parents at some point during the past five years of fighting.
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, estimates that there are 2,300 street children in Burundi. Their number is growing rapidly.Growing Poverty
Observers say street children face a growing risk of abuse. The ongoing civil war is making people more insensitive, leading to a decrease in the respect and protection of children’s rights. The economic embargo has led to growing poverty and ever larger numbers of children turning to the streets of Burundi’s cities in search of a better life.