In Nigeria, in spite of remarkable natural and human resources, most people have tasted the bitter pills of poverty; however, children in Nigeria experience poverty differently. This is particularly noteworthy in the way most children are deprived of nutrition, water, sanitation facilities, access to basic health-care services, shelter, education and protection. Hence, poverty makes them unable to enjoy their rights, participate as full members of the society. Based on the foregoing, this paper presents the results of a study conducted on social networks and livelihood of street children in Ibadan, Nigeria. It investigates the causes, incidence of poverty among street children and the relevance of their social networks to their survival on the streets. Data were collected through triangulation of in-depth interviews (IDIs), case studies, structured questionnaire and focus group discussions. A sample of two hundred and seventy-five respondents was selected for the survey. The results indicate a strong relationship between poverty and living on the street. Most street children involved in different delinquent acts such as stealing, consumption of psychoactive drugs, under age drinking of alcohol, gambling etc, some were not delinquents as they positively utilized the available social network of support for upward social mobility. To address the problems of street children, it is suggested that governments should adhere strictly to Millileum Development Goals (MDGs) in Nigeria. Essentially, the gaps between the promises made and the actions taken should be bridged by the government (Local, State and Federal).
Key words: Street based children, delinquency, approved schools, rehabilitation, social networks, livelihood.
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