THE IMPLICATIONS OF STREET CHILDREN ON SECURITY IN SOKOTO METROPOLIS

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THE IMPLICATIONS OF STREET CHILDREN ON SECURITY IN SOKOTO METROPOLIS

ABSTRACT

Security challenges is one of the major social problems confronting not only Sokoto Metropolis or Nigeria in general, but most of the third world countries and some other parts of the world. Street children are often found to be active participants in most of the social uprisings that were witnessed in some parts of Nigeria, particularly Sokoto metropolis. The quest to find out why and how the number of street children is increasing and how it affects the level of  security prompted the conduct  of this research work. In the course of the research, qualitative research technique was adopted. Focus Group Discussion and key informant Interviews were the methods through which data were gathered. The data were presented in narrative form (prose style) whereas content analysis was used in the interpretation of the data. Social disorganization theory was used in as the theoretical framework. The research work found poverty, unemploymentand poor and inadequate learning facilities as the major contributors to the escalating number of street children. In the course their day to day activities, the street children were found engaging in some delinquent activities such as theft, smoking and sexual practices etc. during any social upspring, they were found to be active participants and consequently, increase the rate of material and human damages. It was also found that solutions to the increasing number of street children revolve around family, community and government efforts. The researchers recommended employment generation, less family reliance  on children and formulation of some welfare policies as the solutions to the increasing number of street children and their implications generally.

CHAPTER ONE:

INTRODUCTION

  1. BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Biologically, a child is generally a human between  the  stages of birth and puberty. The legal definition of child generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority. On the other hand, the United Nations convention on the right of a child (1984), as cited in Wikipedia, defines a child as a human being below the age of eighteen (18) years, unless under the law applicable to child, majority is attained earlier. Wholly, children of or below the age of eighteen are expected to be in schools and other related training centers to realize and develop their potentials. (UNCRC, 1984)

However, certain social problems such as poverty, family breakdown, peer-pressure, hawking and begging (in some part of Nigeria) make these children to drop out of schools and roam about the streets in their thousands in most cities of many third world countries particularly Nigeria, such children are often referred to as “Street Children” (Oha, 2008).

Street children are a term for children experiencing homelessness who live on the streets of a city. Street children, according to Brethaton, (2005), are those children (under the age of eighteen), whose lives and livelihood are primarily understood  in  terms  of  their  relationships’  to  the  streets.

Bretherton  (2005)  also  argues  that  they are  characterized by

loneliness on the street, sheltherleness, loss of  parental  contact and protection, love and care etc. They are mostly at risk of certain social problems (such as  harassment, trafficking, hunger etc) and also a risk to the societal stability.

THE IMPLICATIONS OF STREET CHILDREN ON SECURITY IN SOKOTO METROPOLIS

THE IMPLICATIONS OF STREET CHILDREN ON SECURITY IN SOKOTO METROPOLIS