The children’s aid agency Terres des Hommes reported Tuesday that up to 20,000 runaway children, teenagers and young adults are at times living on the streets, news reports said.
Many of them are sick or left without a perspective. Every second homeless child or youth is being assisted by local aid projects, said Uwe Britten speaking on behalf of terres des hommes.
Half of those people taking part in the aid projects are under the age of 18 and three percent under 14. Around 35 percent of girls are also affected, he added.
Terres des Hommes and 25 other organizations and initiatives are planning to step up taking care of the growing number street children.
Homelessness is only a superficial problem, Britten pointed out.
He linked the reasons for children and teenagers to run away from homes to problems like violence in families, separation, alcoholism and drug abuse by parents.
According to Terres des Hommes, the health condition of street children and homeless teenagers is also dismal as many of them are grappling with depression, alcohol and drug problems as well as hepatitis.