Theses Master's

The Voices of Street Educators Working for the Successful Trajectory of Girls in Street Situations: A Rights-Based Approach

Mills, Melody

The United Nations defines a street child as “any boy or girl for whom the street in the widest sense of the word has become his or her habitual abode and/or source of livelihood, and who is inadequately protected, supervised or directed by responsible adults” (OHCHR, 2012). Most research on street children is focused on boys, the more visible gender, however street girls are at a higher risk. When these children go through non-governmental organization (NGO) services and are later reintegrated into society, many remain marginalized because they continue to live outside the economic, educational, and social standards of society. Therefore, it is important to consider and learn from the trajectory of success stories. The strengths these children have to endure major life events and trauma all on their own at such a young age is remarkable and yet rarely discussed when analyzing literature on street children. In order to realize rights, it is essential to recognize what ‘doing well’ means functionally. This is an exploratory study, researching how street-educators describe good and bad trajectories for girls in street situations. It is qualitative and not meant to generalize, but rather to focus on the case study microcosms of the street-child NGOs visited in Peru and Brazil. This research refers to the human rights framework of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In addition, it compares it to two domestic laws in Peru and Brazil, and analyzes to what extent the responses from these NGOs are grounded in this rights-based approach. This research observes how these rights are operationalized in the work of street-educators with street girls. This pilot research explores the perceptions of street educators on the successful trajectory for girls in street situations. This is in order to analyze how their vision is reflected and implemented in helping these girls better realize their rights. Common themes discussed in this paper include the right to love, right to hope, self-esteem, resilience, the female position, the role of street educators, and the need for more comprehensive help and resources in this field.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Boothby, Neil G.
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 1, 2017