Two young people from YMCA North Tyneside represented the UK at the â€˜Children in street situations raise their voiceâ€™ conference at Googleâ€™s Brussels office.
The conference was organised by theÂ Consortium for Street Children, a global network that exists to give street children a voice, promote their rights and improve their lives through advocacy, research and development.
Daniel Marshall and Colin Wright, residents at YMCA North Tyneside, shared their stories on how they became homeless as well as contributing to other discussions on childrenâ€™s rights and social protection.
Daniel said: â€œIt was a new experience to be in a different country, Iâ€™ve only been abroad three times and didnâ€™t know what to expect. My highlight was meeting two Polish young people who had been street homeless. We were able to get over the language barrier by using Google Translate.Â Iâ€™m overwhelmed that people are listening to stories of young people who have been through experiences like me.â€
Hundreds of children and young people from more than 25 countries will be taking part in seven consultations events and their views will be reflected in the UN General Comment on Children in Street Situations, which is expected to be published in 2017.Â Once published, this guidance aims to help Governments provide better support and interventions tailored to the needs of street connect children.
Further consultation events will be taking place in Brazil, India, Mexico, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Zimbabwe and are being funded by a consortium of organisations including Baker & McKenzie, Aviva and Dynamo International.