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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

By the end of 2005, refugees had returned or had settled in Indonesia. The country continues to face great challenges in rebuilding its infrastructure, strengthening the civil administration, and generating jobs for young people entering the work force.

The underlying economic policy challenge the country faces remains how best to use oil-and-gas wealth to lift the non-oil economy onto a higher growth path and to reduce poverty. [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in East Timor. Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you. You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street. Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public and how they abuse each other. Would you like to write about market children? homeless children? Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc. There is a lot to the subject of Street Children. Scan other countries as well as this one. Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions. Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Timorese teens work the streets as violence rises

Agence France-Presse AFP, Dili, Jan 21, 2008

[accessed 9 May 2011]

Tout arrived here with two brothers and together they work the streets daily selling inexpensive items such as snacks, soft drinks, cigarettes and sweets.  Tout's 17-year-old brother completed elementary school but his younger brother, 14, had no schooling at all.  The three came to Dili with US$60 from their widowed mother and a three-wheeled cart, and rent a room for US$15 a month.

"My mother wasn't able to pay for our school anymore," Tout said.  "I'm sad, because I can't continue my education like other children and so I've lost the chance for a better future, but I have no other choice," he said.  With a profit of US$10 to US$15 each day, the three can send around US$150 home to their mother each month.  Typically the money children send home supports not just their immediate but also extended families.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Human Rights Reports 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 8 February 2020]

CHILDREN - According to a UN study, approximately 25 percent of primary education age children nationwide were not enrolled in school; the figures for rural areas were substantially worse than those for urban areas. Only 30 percent of children in lower secondary education (ages 13 to 15) were enrolled, with an even greater difference between urban and rural areas. At least 10 percent of children did not begin school. These statistics were fairly consistent for both male and female students.

Timor-Leste: Human Rights Overview

Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, January 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 9 May 2011]

BACKGROUND - HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES - Access to education for children is also a growing problem, particularly when coupled with an increase in the number of street children and orphans. Despite these concerns, literacy rates remain high. There is not yet a juvenile court or separate prisons for juvenile offenders. Adequate access to health care is also a concern.

Simon and Garfunkel guitar raises funds for street children

Australian Broadcasting Corporation ABC Radio Australia, March 3, 2007

[accessed 17 January 2017]

A guitar signed by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel raised more than 10-thousand US dollars for East Timor's street children when its owner, Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta, auctioned it on the Internet. The Nobel laureate sold the Squier Bullet electric guitar on e-Bay, and gave the proceeds to the Street Children's Association of Dili.

Tools For Change: Children At Risk

Fiona Hamilton, Donor Relations Officer, World Vision, 20 May 2005

[accessed 9 May 2011]

Beginning this week, 29 children aged between 13 and 18 commenced full time electronic repairs training at the World Vision Youth Center in Dili. The program offers a unique opportunity for children who have been released from prison or who are frequently in conflict with the law. Street children and children who have been victims of family violence and abuse have also been accepted into the program. Each child will study the course full time for six months, and upon graduating will receive a small electronics toolkit, a certificate, and hopefully a brighter future.

Speeches - Address To The Security Council Meeting On Children In Armed Conflict

United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, New York, 5 May 2002

[accessed 9 May 2011]

There are still many children with no opportunity to get education. Some of them spend their time on the street to sell newspapers, CDs and other things to get money. Some children just put out their hands to ask for money. The money that they get might be used to pay for their school or they give it to their parents, but some of them are forced to give the money to those people that threaten them on the streets.

Briefing Paper To Donors Meeting

NGO: Children and Youth, The East Timor National NGO Forum, Canberra, June 2001

[accessed 9 May 2011]

STREET-CHILDREN - Some work has begun with these children by church groups and NGOs, mostly volunteers. However, there is a need for substantive projects to help these children back to school and into their communities. Some groups have been working towards a center in Dili to develop training, school opportunities and activities for these children, but have been delayed by lack of resources.

Vulnerable East Timor Must Take Its First Steps Alone

Report - AlertNet, 07 Mar 2003

[accessed 9 May 2011]

Urgent measures are needed in HIV/AIDS prevention. Extreme poverty, the large number of street children and prostitution could lead to an unprecedented explosion of the epidemic. The lack of educational materials and a shortage of qualified teachers, the absence of a defined curriculum and the difficulties associated with re-introducing the Portuguese language are challenges that will take years to overcome.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use. PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES. Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - Timor Leste (East Timor)",, [accessed <date>]