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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 97 14:13:43 CDT
From: sejup@ax.apc.org
Subject: Brazil: Street children in Sao Paulo
Article: 20625

Study dispels myths about street children

SEJUP (Servico Brasileiro de Justica e Paz), News from Brazil, No. 291, 24 October 1997

A recent study carried out by the School of Public Health of the State University of Sao Paulo (USP) and financed by the Ministry of Justice dispelled a number of myths about street children and their families in Sao Paulo. The survey shows that contrary to what had been thought, the families of street children are structured and their members are not unemployed, vagabonds or 'good-for-nothings' commented sociologist Rubens Adorno who teaches in the USP School of Public Health and who was responsible for the coordination of the survey.

The survey interviewed 390 family members of youth held in young offenders prisons (FEBEM) between March and June of this year and the results caused a number of surprises:

According to a report in the 'Folha de Sao Paulo' on October 16, half of the children between 7 and 14 years who are not in school live in the north-east. Ministry of Education statistics show that 1.8 million children in this age group do not attend school. 22% are concentrated in the south-east; 14% in the north; 10% in the south and 4% in the center-west.

In absolute numbers Bahia is the state with the largest number of children in the 7 to 14 year age group who do not attend school - 216.9 thousand. On the other hand, Alagoas is the state which has the largest proportion not attending school - 17.7%.