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Ethical Research Involving Children

Ethical Concern of street children (Living without adult company)

I am pursuing PhD research from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (India). My research topic is Prevalence and Predictors of Psychological Distress among Street Children in Mumbai. In this case, street children are staying without any adult supervision. If I want to study them, so whom should I ask for consent as street children are minor.


  • eric

    April 22, 2015

    Thanks for your question! This is a tricky situation. In line with the UN Convention on the rights of the Child you would need to seek the children’s consent and ensure they are fully informed about what they are consenting to. However, you should normally also try to seek the consent of an adult who can advocate on the children’s behalf (such as perhaps a centre that supports them?). There have been some previous studies that have encountered this same issue. Searching the ERIC Resource Library using the search terms ‘street children’ or ‘unaccompanied minor’ should turn up some relevant literature. Please come back and leave an updated comment sharing what you have done to help others in a similar research situation.

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