Amount of Street Children Rises
Monday, 05 February, 2007 | 14:42 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The amount of street children in Jakarta has risen quite sharply during the last two years.
In 2004, the Social Services Department recorded that there were 98.113 street children but by 2006, this amount had jumped to 144,889.
Makmur Sunusi, the Director General of Social Services and Rehabilitation, said the rise was closely related to the poverty rate, which also rose.
“The more poor people there are, the more street children there are,” he told Tempo two days ago (3/2).
This rise in the amount of street children started to be seen at the time of the fuel price increases in 2005.
People categorized as poor could no longer take care of their children so the children were forced to look for money on streets.
The Social Services Department has estimated that 75 percent of street children are from poor families.
“The remaining children are from families with histories of violence,” said Makmur.
On the other hand, street children’s access to education is smaller.
They are busy looking for money to survive and cannot pay school fees anymore.
The result, according to Makmur, is that most of street kids drop out of school.
He went on to say that now the government can only slow down the rise in the amount of street children.
“The key problem is poverty. If poverty goes down, so does the amount of street children,” said Makmur.
It is targeted that the amount of street children will be reduced by five percent in 2009.