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In 1989, UNICEF estimated that around 100 million children grew up in urban areas around the world. 14 years later, the same institution reported that “the latest estimates put the total of these children at a maximum of 100 million” (UNICEF, 2005: 37). And, more recently, “The exact number of children in these conditions is impossible to quantify, but statistics suggest tens of millions around the world. These numbers are likely to be increasing” (UNICEF, 2008: 40-41). Thus, although the figure of 100 million is still used, it has no factual basis (see Enner and Milne, 1989; Hecht, 1998, Green, 1998). Similarly, it is debatable whether the number of street children has increased globally or it is the awareness of their existence in societies that has grown.3
Despite the fact that the phenomenon appears to society as a critical fact on the rise, quantifying the children who live on the street is difficult mainly because they continually change their home (understood as the places where they spend the night) .4
In Peru, for a long time, they tried to do a census, most of the excessive cases, since children who work, those who practice begging and those who are on the streets were counted equally. An average of children and adolescents living on the streets is around 800 at the national level, this is by withdrawing adults who in many groups are the majority.
Although the population of children living in these conditions is not stable and has not been estimated, local institutions or researchers have estimated the following figures by country:
Although most of these live in underdeveloped countries, they also live in rich, industrialized countries such as Germany, where a total is estimated to be around 10,000 children20 and the United States, with between 750,000 and 1,000,000.21
Although there are variations between countries, it has been estimated22 that 70% of street children are boys.23 Although the majority of street children and adolescents are always boys, in recent times there has been an increase in part of the female sex, but it is important to remember that the street is a very risky space.
That there are children living in the streets is not a recent phenomenon, as shown by some traditional paintings by well-known painters such as Murillo. In the introduction to his History of Child Neglect in Soviet Russia (1918-1930), Alan Ball states
In 1848, Lord Ashley described more than 30.0