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Title: We are the Kings : the children of Dhaka's streets
Author: Conticini, Alessandro
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 3350
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis is about children in street situations in Bangladesh, with a particular focus on those in the capital city of Dhaka. Using a constructivist paradigm involving qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection, this work answers three major questions: 1. What are the causes, and dynamics of, migrating to the street for children in street situations? 2. How do children in street situations develop coping strategies and secure their livelihoods on the street? 3. What are the consequenceso f streetl ife over the children's lifecourse? In the conclusion, the study's main findings are presented and their implications for policy are examined. The thesis starts by setting the phenomenon of street life experienced by children within a broad literature and highlights the many unresolved and interdisciplinary challenges that the topic presents. The theoretical framework is then developed, an Integrated Rights and Livelihoods Analytical Framework (IRLAF) that combines child rights and sustainable livelihoods frameworks. This new conceptual framework is built on the strengths of the two approaches, partially solving the problems arising from their respective constraints. The second part of the thesis focuses on the analysis and findings of field research. It investigates not only the living conditions of children once on the street but also their personal histories and compares these with the general experience of growing up in Bangladesh. The causes of street migration are multiple, complex and overlaid, but violence within the family and local community and lack of social capital in the children's households are leading causes for the migration. Coping strategies developed on the street depend on children's experiences, opportunities and personal characteristics. Gender is an important factor in these processes. Four simplified phases of street life are identified: initial adaptation, acceptance, inurement and, sometimes, dependence. These phases have implications for children's capacity to manage, protect and promote their livelihoods once on the street. Children in street situations main livelihood needs are: feeling of love and. number of trusted friends, cooperative activities, earning money, working and playing activities, food, education, health status, use of space and feeling of security. The consequences of street life in the short and mediumterm commonly include resilience against adversities, inclusion/exclusion processes and the development of a Buis generis system of norms and morality compatible with the street environment. An initial understanding of some of the long-term consequences of street life is provided by presenting four case studies of the individual lifecourses of former children in street situations. This helped to clarify how street living influences the different outcomes in children's adulthood which in turn can be considered successful, unsuccessful or mixed. Overall, this thesis shows how a dominant and unchallenged narrative shapes the public understanding of and ongoing interventions to help children in street situations in Bangladesh. The concluding remarks openly challenge this narrative, its accuracy, reliability and utility when compared with the main findings of this study. The conclusion examines the implications of the research findings for theories of the livelihoods of children in street situations and for policies and actions to support children on the street.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available