International Day for Street Children

Renu, match factory worker, 5 years old, Tamil Nadu, India. By: Marcus Lyon.

April 12th marks the global launch of the International Day for Street Children. The idea behind today is to show governments around the world that recognising the rights of street children is just as important a task as recognising the rights of children with homes. To celebrate the launch, cities across the world are doing a wide variety of things. In London, we’ll be using the power of photography to get the message across.

For one night only, there will be a photo exhibition marking the event. This one is a little different to your usual gallery viewing, however: the photographs will be projected onto the face of the National Theatre on the South Bank. The images themselves will highlight the daily struggle that street children across the world must live through every day.

Angel, Rag Picker, 6 years old, Mexico. Image credit: Marcus Lyon

The campaign is backed by Liverpool and England footballer Steven Gerrard, by Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle and is supported by Aviva, whose Street to School programme aims to get 500,000 young people back into education or training by 2015.

So why is it important? Street children are those who sleep on the streets, work on the streets or spend a significant amount of time on the streets. They are some of the most vulnerable and marginalised children in the world and, as such, have no support or protection from the state or parents / families and, as a result, have no voice.

Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle said:

“Filming Slumdog Millionaire opened my eyes to the horrendous conditions that street children in India are forced to endure on a day to day basis – an unimaginable mix of poverty, hardship, cruelty and abuse. That’s why I’m supporting the International Day for Street Children and the Louder Together campaign. These children need a voice and need to be heard by the international community I urge everyone to go online and pledge their support at”

Photo by Dan Lynch. Projected image by Marcus Lyon.

So make a quick visit to today and grab a free ‘Louder Together’ Twibbon to pop on your Facebook or Twitter profile – it only takes a sec, it’s free, and it’ll help raise the awareness of International Day for Street Children.

Don’t forget to pop down to South Bank and watch the projection on the face of the National Theatre. It will take place today (12th April 2011) at approximately 7:30pm.