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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                       

Democratic Republic of Madagascar

Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy, accounting for more than one-fourth of GDP and employing 80% of the population. Exports of apparel have boomed in recent years primarily due to duty-free access to the US.

Poverty reduction and combating corruption will be the centerpieces of economic policy for the next few years.  [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 Madagascar.  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.


Madagascar: Where Children Dream of Being Gangsters

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, 2 May 2008

[accessed 10 March 2015]

Unlike the thousands of other homeless children in the Madagascan capital of Antananarivo, Tovo considers himself lucky. He and his friend, Jiva, have secured a begging spot near the luxury Tana Plaza Hotel.  Both the children are unwashed, rail thin and clothed in dirty rags. Tovo told IRIN: "We have the best place for finding the rich people. We usually get money for food."

The two 11-years-olds, like the capital's other homeless people, sleep in the open, but the approaching southern hemisphere winter is simply a different kind of discomfort to the summer cyclones that lash the island nation.  "Sometimes the street vendors let us sleep by their fires. The grannies who sleep on the pavements know us; they know we have our own money and we won't steal from them, so they let us stay," said Tovo.

Young male vendors tend to hawk cheap wares like tennis shoes, T-shirts and perfumes from Asia, while middle-aged women sell fruit, vegetables or food cooked on the sidewalks, but they all live in their stalls and sleep where they sell.

Tovo and Jiva, taking time off from begging to kick a ragged football around in the street outside the hotel, said when they grow up they want to be gangsters. "Nobody pushes the gangsters around," Jiva said.


*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 19 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Children also work in bars and nightclubs, and as porters and welders.  Commercial sexual exploitation is a problem in most of Madagascar’s urban areas and sex tourism is prevalent in small coastal towns and villages.  Recent primary school attendance rates are not available for Madagascar, but the government requirement that all children present a birth certificate to enroll in school has limited school attendance.  Student repetition and dropout rates are very high.  Education in Madagascar is hindered by a lack of materials and equipment in schools; unmotivated teachers; uneven class and school sizes, poorly developed vocational and technical training programs, few non-formal education programs for dropouts, and parents’ lack of confidence in the education system, among other factors

CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR - The government recently supplied school materials to primary school children as part of the Education for All program.  The World Bank funded a 7-year program in Madagascar in 1998 that aims to universalize quality primary education; improve the capacity of the education ministry at local levels; and improve access to quality student and teacher learning materials in primary schools.

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 10 February 2020]

CHILDREN - In June 2004 the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the government launched a three-year campaign to improve birth registration rates. The country has no uniform birth registration system, and unregistered children were not eligible to attend school or obtain health care services. A 2000 UNICEF study found that approximately 2.5 million children under 17 were not registered.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 3 October 2003

[accessed 19 February 2011]

[55] The Committee notes the challenging socio-economic situation and the adoption, in 2003, of a chapter on special protection in the poverty reduction strategy paper.  However, it is concerned about the increasingly high number of children who do not enjoy their right to an adequate standard of living, including children belonging to poor families, street children and children living in remote rural areas.

[63] The Committee is concerned at the increasing number of street children and at the lack of a systematic and comprehensive strategy to address this situation and to provide these children with adequate assistance. In addition, the Committee notes the establishment of several villages for the reinsertion of vulnerable families.

MSF Curtails Homeless Assistance In Favor Of Emergency Work

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Johannesburg, 23 May 2005

[accessed 10 March 2015]

When we started in 1993, we intended to help those children and families who were living on the street but, over the years, we have come to realize that there are many poor families in desperate need of assistance

Reports to Treaty Bodies

Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 2003

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

[accessed 16 June 2011]

The Committee further expressed concern about the lack of free primary education; the increasing number of street children and the lack of a strategy to address their needs; the increasing number of child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, including prostitution and pornography; the lack of judges and criminal courts for minors; the sentencing of children aged 16 and 17 as adults; the limited possibilities for the rehabilitation and reintegration of juveniles following judicial proceedings.

Madagascar's Undaunted Street Children - Photo-story on street children in Antananarivo

Adelson Razafy, journalist in Antananarivo, Madagascar [photos by Rip Hopkins], UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO

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

[accessed 16 June 2011]

Blackened by exhaust fumes, the tunnel under Tana’s city center serves as a dormitory for children, especially during the rainy season.

This Months Letter Home From Madagascar

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia - Doctors Without Borders, July 2003

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

[accessed 16 June 2011]

More than 2,500 street children now receive regular medical and social follow-up through the program. Some of them are referred on to a network of doctors providing free medical care under Médecins Sans Frontières supervision. Médecins Sans Frontières is working with children held in three juvenile detention centers and a prison. The main focus this year is on improving the sanitary conditions. Médecins Sans Frontières has been working in Madagascar since 1987.

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