There are 3 million street children in Egypt as a result of social injustice and slum life, according to a recent study by the National Center for Social and Criminological Research in Egypt.
The study attributed the high number of street children to the practices and policies of ousted President Hosni Mubarak's regime over the past three decades.
State-owned Al-Ahram newspaper, which published the study, wrote on its website that 150,000 street children in Cairo abuse drugs as a way to alleviate their suffering, help them sleep or face pain, violence and hunger.
The newspaper reported that the most common crimes among street children include theft (56 percent), homelessness (16.5 percent), begging (13.9 percent) and violence (5.2 percent).
The presence of slums in which some 11 million people live and suffer from poverty and poor basic services has contributed to the rise in street children, according to the study.
In 2010, rights groups estimated the number of children living on Egypt's streets at over half a million.
Reports published by various rights groups say street children in Egypt suffer severe economic deprivation and lack any form of legal protection.