September 23, 2020

Causes of Child and Youth Homelessness in Developed and Developing Countries

Lonnie Embleton, MPH; Hana Lee, PhD; Jayleen Gunn, PhD; David Ayuku, PhD; Paula Braitstein, PhD

IMPORTANCE
A systematic compilation of children and youth’s reported reasons for street involvement is lacking. Without empirical data on these reasons, the policies developed or implemented to mitigate street involvement are not responsive to the needs of these children and youth.

OBJECTIVE
To systematically analyze the self-reported reasons why children and youth around the world become street-involved and to analyze the available data by level of human development, geographic region, and sex.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
The street-connected children and youth who provided reasons for their street involvement infrequently identified delinquent behaviors for their circumstances and highlighted the role of poverty as a driving factor. They require support and protection, and governments globally are called on to reduce the socio-economic inequities that cause children and youth to turn to the streets in the first place, in all regions of the world.

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