Record levels of inequality, violence and migration mean children are forced to live or work on the streets, escape abusive homes, or end up on the streets after being displaced or trafficked.
There are different push and pull factors which lead children to a life on the streets.
For some children working on the streets can be their only means to earn an income. Many of these children will also live permanently on the streets.
Some street children have been chased from home by violence, natural disaster or the need to earn an income. Others have been sold or trafficked and have ended up on the streets.
Children whose home life is full of abuse often take refuge on the streets to escape. However they are at risk of being enticed by gangs offering friendship or financial gain. Others find solace in drugs and alcohol.