Resilience of Street Children to Violence, Exploitation and Abuse in Tanzanian Cities: Evidence from Unga Limited Ward in Arusha City

John Gwanyemba, Emmanuel Nyamase, Bakari George


This paper contributes an understanding on the ways street children survive abuse, violence and exploitation in Tanzanian cities using Arusha city as a case study. Specifically, it aims at establishing the forms of violence, abuse and exploitation confronting street children in Arusha city one of the rapidly urbanizing cities in Tanzania. The paper identifies likely perpetrators of abuse and exploitation of street children and coping strategies used by street children in time of abuse, violence and exploitation. A total of 30 street children were sampled for this study. Data were collected using questionnaire and semi-structured interview. Data entry was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for analysis. Findings shows non-contact sexual abuse which includes threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism and verbal sexual harassment as a common form of abuse to street children. Results reveal that the main perpetrators of abuse to street children are the street children themselves. Further, it is has been realised that the coping strategy for street children in time of abuse is endurance. This implies that children in cities do not report cases of abuse to respective authorities for help. It is recommended that, Government, NGOs and faith based organizations develop programmes with focus in dealing with street children’s psychosocial and behavioral problems to reduce incidences of abuse among street children themselves. Law enforcement organizations and other child protection duty bearers have to develop child friendly procedures to encourage children to report cases of abuse, violence and exploitation happening among themselves and outside actors.

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