Life is not easy for street children in Nepal. They have usually taken to the streets because of a violent father or extreme poverty at home.
The old problems, such as violence and poverty at home as well as illiteracy, have been joined by new threats: trade in human beings from Nepal to neighbouring India and circles of pedophiles who tempt children to follow them, promising a better life. To a great extent, it is also a question of what being a third-world child is all about.
Kathmandu is a special case even in Nepalese circumstances. Children escape from the utterly poor countryside to the capital, because there are children already on the streets. There they also have a chance of getting by.
Almost 90 per cent of the street children in Nepal are boys. Girls are few in number and their task is usually to take care of the youngest ones. In a traditional society like Nepal, girls are, however, sent to serve as maids in rich households. They may also live at home farming and doing household chores until they are married, which in the countryside may take place before they turn fifteen.