The world has an estimated 150 million street children—some as young as six years old. On the streets they fall victim to violence, abuse, and are unable to attend school or learn a trade. They work begging, picking up trash, as porters, in markets, washing cars. Unable to continue in school or earn a decent living, and entirely without adult guidance, many are driven into crime and prostitution.

The pictures were taken in nine countries on five continents: Romania, Brazil, Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Honduras, Uganda, Kenya, and Vietnam.

—  Stephen Shames