Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A street child or street kid is a child who lives on the street – in particular, one that is not taken care of by parents or other adults – and who sleeps on the street because he or she does not have a home.
Street children exist in many major cities, especially in the Third World, and may be the subject of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or even in extreme cases murder by "clean up squads" hired by local businesses (e.g see Colombian Street children).
In the United States, as many as one in seven young people run away or are thrown out of their homes before the age of 18. Many of these children have been driven out of their homes by extreme poverty, severe family conflict, abuse and neglect, or parental abuse of alcohol and drugs.
In Russia, street children usually find a home in abandoned sewage systems during the harsh winter. These underground homes offer space, a roof, shelter and most of all, heat.
Estimates vary but it is generally agreed that the number of children living independently in the streets totals between 100 and 150 million worldwide.
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