CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The trajectories of children and young people in precarious circumstances are frequently marked by events that disrupt the organization of their daily lives. These include running away from home voluntarily, or forced expulsion from their household, leading to a breakdown in family relations and a life on the streets. Using the results of fieldwork in La Paz and El Alto, this article shows to what extent these youths’ trajectories are characterized by processes of individuation and fragmentation. This leads to a situation of deviance where the notion of a “career” is no longer applicable, and where gangs are the network of choice, where these children circulate within a set of connections. This raises the issue of policy interventions for this demographic, mainly by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and charitable associations, which struggle to integrate children into their support programs. The lives of these children ultimately problematize notions of the sociocultural construction of childhood, the individual, and the ideal of autonomy, as presented by the 1989 International Convention on the Rights of the Child (ICRC), and in contrast to the principles of social protection of this text.

Robin Cavagnoud
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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