Characteristics of street children in Nazareth, Ethiopia

East Afr Med J. 1997 Feb;74(2):85-8.


A census based survey was conducted in Nazareth, a town in south-eastern Ethiopia, to determine the number and background of the street children, in December 1994. 5138 street children were counted in the town during a one day census. 4626(90%) were males and 512(10%) were females. The age ranged from 5 to 18 with mean age of 12.9(SD = 3.16). 312(52.3%) of the children left their families before their tenth birthday. 109(18.3%) were attending school at the time of the survey. 326(54.6%) of the children were "on" the street type with a house to sleep in at night and 271(45.4%) were "of" the street type and completely homeless. 530(88.8%) of the children had at least one of their parents alive. Most of the street children take odd jobs to earn a living. Only 76(12.7%) were found to be living on begging. From this study it was concluded that the number of street children was very high, and exploration of opportunities to rehabilitate the children who still have their families alive is recommended.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Welfare*
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Ethiopia
  • Female
  • Foster Home Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Surveys
  • Homeless Youth / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Urban Health*