How to help street children in Kathmandu
Currently, there is very little data on street children in Kathmandu. It is estimated that there are around 6,000 street children in Nepal, 2,000 of which are in Kathmandu.
Often, children flee to the streets from remote parts of the country to escape a life of domestic violence or poverty.
On the street, these children face the problems of violence, intimidation and sexual abuse by adults and other children. They are faced with malnutrition and severe health problems, with around 95% of street children being addicted to solvents.
Children are forced to beg on the streets, pickpocket and some end up in prostitution, becoming vulnerable to the HIV virus.
In Nepal it is not illegal to have sex with an underage boy and it is estimated that 85% of boys on the street have been sexually assaulted according to the Nepali NGO Voice of Children.
They also face abuse and torture from police. In 2008, Human Rights Watch received 200 reports of torture of street children by police. This is done to force a confession from a child, or sometimes just for the amusement of the officer.
What can I do to help?
Giving money to a street child will not help their situation, as they will mostly use it to buy more solvents and it gives them a reason to be on the streets.
Your money will be better off donated with a charity working with these children.