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Street children in Brazil


By Spiros Tzelepis, Greece

Each homeless child is a wound that spots the image of the society

The cover of the book

Recently, during my classic stroll to bookshops (frequent readers will conclude in that since I have talked about it many times) I found a book by Yara Dulce Bandeira de Ataide referring to street children in Brazil. It was then that I realized that I had already read a review of it in a newspaper we usually buy at home. Immediately, it captured my attention because much have been written and told about this major problem. I remember that some years ago, a Greek TV channel had a documentary on the issue of street children in Brazil which was eye-opening; it talked about facts some of which were very shocking, and surely it was something that made the viewers reconsider their perception of the world we live in. So after all these and given the fact that I have always been interested in the problems of children worldwide, I thought to invite the author to an interview, because she has first-hand experience of the situation and she can pass all these to the readers. Let's not forget that the UN Special Session on children is still fresh in our minds since not long ago we heard again that the rights of children would be declared and secured, etc. Though these promises sound vacant when one thinks that in the 21st century, such a problem remains still unsolved.

  1. How did you decide to deal with the issue of street children since you have an academic career?

  2. What is the size of the problem in Brazil? Personally, I have heard and read a lot in my country about this issue in Brazil, but you can give us more accurate information.

  3. Which are the causes for this phenomenon? What happens with the families of these children?

  4. What is the age of these children mainly?

  5. What is the attitude of the Brazilian society towards them?

  6. What is the government doing to eliminate the phenomenon?

  7. What left a lasting impression to you from your contact with these children? How do they themselves face this situation and what do they think?

  8. Do you think there is a solution to the problem and if yes which?

  9. Is there something that the international community can do to help and in particular the youth that produce action around the world?

  10. How do you think your book will help towards this direction?

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Reconstruction: July-August-September 2002

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