ACTIVISTS are pushing for the United Nations (UN) to officially adopt 12 April as the International Day for Street Children.
Alphonce Baltazar, Project Supervisor for Dogodogo Centre, said in Dar es Salaam that adoption of the day would motivate greater exposure, continuity and permanence of the issue and increase pressure on governments to act on behalf of street children.
Mr Baltazar said that in the same way that World Water Day and World AIDS Day created a policy appetite around the world, this day should also receive the same weight as the problem also have greater impact to community.
"In 2013 Consortium for Street Children (CSC) launched a campaign for the UN to officially adopt the Day and they have been able to prepare a petition which has received over 6,000 signatories so far, but the more we have the faster UN recognition will come," he said.
The day which is marked today, it is the fourth year to be manifested internationally and third year in Tanzania, providing a platform for millions of street children around the world to speak out so that their rights cannot be ignored.
Expounding further, he said that the day is a perfect opportunity for street children to join together and tell their communities and the world at large what their lives are actually like. It is the occasion for the millions of street children around the world to remind the community of their existence.
The CSC launched International Day for Street Children in 2011, with help from its global corporate partner Aviva, to ensure that millions of street children around the globe have their voices heard. Every year since then support has grown and the day is now celebrated in over 130 countries by street children and their champions.
Mr Baltazar further said that the day is celebrated by street children, NGOs, celebrities, policy makers, businesses and individuals around the world, the day now has high profile supporters though it is not recognised by officials.
According to Ms Esther Mrutu, a teacher at Dogodogo centre, the number of street children has been increasing each year and research which was conducted by the centre show that in Dar es Salaam 28 per cent of the children were from the region.
"In the past years we used to think that most of the street children in Dar es Salaam were from other regions, but that is not true," she said.