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Page 1

CHILDREN LIVING AND WORKING

ON THE STREETS IN LEBANON:

PROFILE AND MAGNITUDE

The Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration

US Department of State

Page 2

DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the researchers and do not necessarily reflect

the views of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) or

Save the Children International (SCI); responsibility for their expression rests solely with their authors. They

do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the ILO, UNICEF or SCI concerning

the legal status of any country, area or territory or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its

frontiers. The mention or omission of specific actors, actions, firms, commercial products or processes

does not imply any endorsement or judgment by the ILO, UNICEF or SCI.

Study conducted by

the Consultation and Research Institute


February 2015

2

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Non-Lebanese SBC were more likely to be arrested than their Lebanese counterparts. SBC of

Syrian origin recorded the highest share of SBC arrested (17 percent), followed by the stateless SBC (14

percent), Palestine refugees from Syria (13 percent), and Lebanese SBC (7 percent).

b. Judicial proceedings

The vast majority of SBC who are arrested are never brought to court, but those who are,

generally end up imprisoned. Only 3 percent of SBC were accused by a court of law and went to trial,

out of which 92 percent were imprisoned. SBC who were imprisoned after sentencing usually spend less

than a month incarcerated with 39 percent jailed for less than one week and with an equal proportion of

SBC jailed between one and two weeks or two weeks and a month (22 percent each). Some 13 percent

of SBC have been imprisoned between one and six months after sentencing while the remaining 4 percent

spent more than six months in jail.

Less Than a Week
Between 1 & 2 Weeks
15 Days to 1 Month
1 Month to 6 Months
More Than 6 Months

22%

22%

39%

13%

4%

Figure 34: Time SBC are imprisoned after sentencing

SBC ASPIRATIONS

a. Freedom of choice

The majority of SBC would rather go to school or change their type of employment. SBC’s first

choice when asked what they would rather do as an alternative was to go to school (40 percent) while

another significant portion (30 percent) would have still chosen to work for money, albeit not in street work.

Female SBC outnumber males who are eager to go to school (56 percent of females) while the opposite

is true for SBC who want to change their professions (39 percent of males).

Younger SBC have a higher preference towards attending school while older SBC prefer to

remain employed, but move away from street work. Some 46 percent of SBC between five and

eight years old, and 49 percent share of SBC between nine and 13 years of age would rather go to

school as their first alternative option to street work. Conversely, older age groups prioritise changing their

professions (49 percent).

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SBC practicing some economic activities prefer not to attend school. Around half of SBC offering

daily labour services (50 percent) would rather go to school than engage in street work. However, less

than half of SBC engaged in begging (47 percent) and SC&F (43 percent) preferred to attend school.

Some SBC would not choose to go to school or change professions. Around 13 percent of SBC

would not change any aspect of their life and preferred to continue working on the streets if given the

choice. This was more evident amongst males (14 percent or males), the age group between 14 and 17

years old (20 percent of this category), and those involved in illicit activities (33 percent of them).

Some SBC would prefer to play or not do anything at all. Given the alternative to street work, 11

percent of SBC would have chosen to play or be idle. This subcategory was split equally between males

and females, but consisted of more SBC from the five to 8 age group (29 percent share of this age

bracket) who are engaged in begging activity (a 20 percent share of this activity) than any other. A smaller

share of SBC would have chosen to stay at home and assist their family members in domestic work (5

percent), the majority of which were females.

60%

55%

50%

45%

40%

35%

30%

25%

20%

15%

10%

5%

0%

Male Female

Continue work on the streets
Go to school
Change domain of work
Assist in household services,
take care of family
Be idle / play

Figure 35: SBC alternatives to street work



b. Continuity of street work

Most SBC do not know when they may cease to work on the streets. Findings show that 45

percent of SBC do not know what age they may quit their work on the streets. Others were more precise:

Some 17 percent expect to cease street work when they become teenagers, and another portion when

they become adults (8 percent). Few SBC feel they will always work on the streets (5 percent) and some

3 percent expected to stop street work in the near future.

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