Railway Children believe in a world where no child ever has to live on the streets.

Every year thousands of children across the UK, India and East Africa run away or are forced to leave homes that have become unbearable through poverty, abuse, violence and neglect.

Reaching a child as soon as possible is crucial to getting to children on the streets before an abuser can, and before they become entrenched in street life. We race to get to children before the streets get to them.

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Did you know...

  • Every 5 minutes a child arrives alone on a platform in India. To reach as many children as possible we have created five Child Friendly Stations across India where we train railway staff, vendors and the police to identify and help children at risk.

  • Every year in the UK 100,000 children under 16 run away from home. Over 70% are never reported missing. We have partnered with British Transport Police (BTP) to develop a Safeguarding on Transport (ST) programme which raises awareness of vulnerable children on and around the transport system, enabling positive identification and response.

  • 250,000 children live on the streets in Kenya alone. We work in Tanzania and Kenya, where children alone on the streets are frequently regarded by society as a nuisance that must be tolerated - a 'problem' rather than vulnerable children who desperately need help and support.

  • Railway Children is an official charity partner for the Hollywood movie, Lion. The film tells the true story of five-year-old Saroo Brierley, who gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from his home and family. Saroo's story is not unique - there are over 11 million children living on the streets of India.

Railway Children

What makes Railway Children different

Our pioneering, time-tested approach enables us to get to street children before the streets get to them.

We bring together lots of people and work at three levels to reach the maximum number of children and make the change as sustainable as possible.

We work at a street level where we meet the immediate needs of children on the streets, at a community level where we change perceptions of children on the streets, and at a government level where we persuade policy makers that children on the streets should be higher on the political agenda.

Other ways to support

  • Spread the word – share our news on social media and tell your family and friends about our work

  • Take part in our fundraising events such as our annual Three Peaks Challenge by Rail or Ride India, a 450km cycle ride through the sights, sounds, colour and chaos of India to celebrate our charity partnership with the Hollywood movie, Lion. To find out more about our events click here.

  • Volunteer your time or expertise. Find out more here.

  • Be our eyes and ears – if you spot a vulnerable child or young person in a railway station and you think they need help, report it to British Transport Police and help us provide the support they might desperately need.


1st Floor, 1 The Commons
CW11 1EG

Contact Number

01270 757 596