The Problem of Street Children in Brazil Essay

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The world of poverty is a complex one with similarities seen in every society. In Brazil, poverty has created an especially dark situation in which society's most vulnerable children are forced to live or work on the streets and fend for their lives on a daily basis. In many societies, poor children are exposed to street life, but Brazil is interesting in that many of its citizens have changed their mentalities from viewing street children as creative ?urchins? to viewing them as vermin that must be discarded, often through murder, all while blaming the victim. In the world of poverty, there is extreme competition for few resources, and it is other low-income people who often support wiping children off the streets, instead of …show more content…
As families realized that a single working family member could not provide for everyone, the rest of the family had to contribute as well. Women had to leave the home to find work, leaving children to be socialized by their surroundings. Many times, even two family members working cannot provide for everyone, which leads to the formation of street children and child labor. In an NGO-sponsored program in Rio de Janeiro, Projeto Semear, which seeks to educate street children through alternative education methods, over 91% of the families of the street children participating ?earned less than one minimum salary? (de Queiroz and Elliot 2000, 194). There are over 21 million children in Brazil whose families earn little over one U.S. dollar per day, and 16% of children ages ten to fourteen in Brazil are economically active, a necessity for many to survive (Jubilee Action 1998). Contrary to popular belief, not all street children live and sleep on the street. Children of the street are those who have nowhere else to go, actually a small proportion of those who work on the street. Children on the street return to their families at night, or at least to check in and contribute money every so often (Moulin and Pereira 2000, 49). The nomadic nature of street children makes it difficult to make accurate accounts of them, and estimates range from 200,000 to 8 million, with many

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