Country of Operation
SummaryRailway Children helps vulnerable children in grave circumstances. Their objective is to provide relief to children and young people who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress and in particular to those living on the streets.
Key program components
UNICEF's estimate of 11 million street children in India is considered to be a conservative figure. India has the second largest rail network in the world. Children who run away from their homes both willingly and unwillingly use the railways to travel to other destinations. The train therefore becomes the primary mode of transportation and the railway junctions become home.
Their high mobility makes it essential to work with a multitude of voluntary organizations across states in order to have continued contact with the children and provide support. It is for these very reasons that Railway Children set up its first project in India in 1996.
Railway Children works to ensure child-friendly outreach at all major railway stations in India. They implement this by working with partners such as Childline India, Ministry of Railways, Railway Police, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment etc. Railway Children seeks a balance between:
Providing Services and meeting immediate needs, including healthcare.
Development - bringing about long-term improvements in children's lives through development and the recognition of their rights.
They work with agencies that:
Focus on early intervention with children that have no family contact.
Address the child's right to a family life by seeking to reintegrate children with their families or find an alternative when this is not practicable or desirable.
Have integrated programmes that provide immediate services and developmental opportunities.
Encourage a participatory approach with children.
Encourage advocacy on behalf of the rights of these children.
Develop linkages with other organisations and encourage a sharing environment.
Document their work for future learning.