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Street children is a term for children experiencing homelessness who live on the streets of a city. Homeless youth are often called street kids and street youth; the definition of street children is contested, but many practitioners and policymakers use UNICEF’s concept of boys and girls, aged under eighteen years, for whom "the street" (including unoccupied dwellings and wasteland) has become home and/or their source of livelihood, and who are inadequately protected or supervised.[1]

Female street children are sometimes called gamines,[2][3][4][5] a term that is also used for Colombian street children of either gender.[6][7][8]

Some street children, notably in more developed nations, are part of a subcategory called thrownaway children who are children that have been forced to leave home. Thrownaway children are more likely to come from single-parent homes.[9] Street children are often subject to abuse, neglect, exploitation, or, in extreme cases, murder by "clean-up squads" that have been hired by local businesses or police.[10] In Western societies, such children are sometimes treated as homeless children rather than criminals or beggars.