2006 Photo Contest, Daily Life, 2nd prize

Marcus Bleasdale

Human Rights Watch

01 October, 2005

Street children enjoy a shower in a care center. Food and lodging, as well as basic schooling, are offered to the children in exchange for light labor.

Conflict, internal displacement, HIV/AIDS, and poverty contribute to the rising number of children who live and work on the streets. An estimated 30,000 street children live in Kinshasa, with tens of thousands more in other urban areas around the country. Many of them have been cast out of home by their parents, having been accused of witchcraft. They are blamed for the family's economic ills or the death of a relative from an AIDS-related illness. Once in the streets, children face physical and sexual abuse from older children, adults, and sometimes also from police and the military.

About the photographer

Marcus Bleasdale

Marcus Bleasdale is a documentary photographer who uses his work to influence policy makers around the world. His work on human rights and conflict has been shown at the US Senat...

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