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General Comment 21

Marking a historic moment for street-connected children and youth

In June 2017, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has published General Comment No. 21 on Children in Street Situations.

For the first time ever, street children became the focus of authoritative United Nations guidance to States on how to uphold the rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC). Importantly for StreetInvest, the General Comment acknowledges the role of “trustworthy adult street workers” in ensuring that these children enjoy the respect, dignity and acceptance they deserve.

What is a General Comment?

General Comments are published by United Nations treaty bodies, to interpret and provide guidance on human rights treaties. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the key piece of international law on children’s rights. It describes what children need to survive, grow and reach their potential in life.

The General Comment No. 21 lays out how the Convention applies to street children. Its publication was a historical moment for street children, as it is the first piece of international law to concern them.

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