Nineteen Children Disappear in This City Every Day!

  • 08 Jul 2019
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At least 19 children go missing in New Delhi, India, on a daily basis, and they are often sold into prostitution, child labour, and illegal adoption, police data show. 

Out of the 215,216 persons reported missing since 2008, 73,675 were minors. Out of this number, about 60,210 had been traced while 12,465 remain missing. 

For this year alone, only about 1,241 out of the 2,324 children recorded missing have been traced; the rest are still gone. 

Delhi police have even launched several programmes to reunite missing children with their families, namely "Operation Smile", "Operation Milap" and "Operation Muskaan". 

According to the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), about 50 areas in the city have been identified to be spots where children frequently go missing. 

Swati Maliwal, the chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, says Delhi has become a transit point for trafficking, which is the main reason why children are vanishing at such a rate. 

Swati blame police for the kidnapping rate in the city, saying they are often late to act on reports, giving kidnappers ample time to escape or relocate their victims, she said. 

The Majority are Girls

Teenage girls are coveted by trafficking rings, who sell them into prostitution, said Rishi Kant, the co-founder of NGO Shakti Vahini. 

About 70 percent of the 9,899 untraced teenagers since 2008 are girls, he said. 

After they are abducted, they are kept in hideouts, starved for days and then trained in the flesh trade before being sold outside the city or abroad, he added. 

Another NGO says teenagers are also favoured as domestic helpers and labourers at factories, while children below eight, mainly boys, are usually taken to be given up for adoption.

A police officer said crowded places such as hospitals, railway stations and markets are favourite spots for kidnappers, who often use women to take the children and escape undetected. 

In Malaysia, about four children go missing daily.

According to 2017 statistics, 482 children went missing from 2012 to 2017. 

While this number includes teenagers running away from home, it also encompasses those who are kidnapped for ransom, child trafficking, or sexual exploitation. Some are never found, or worse still, found dead. 

Source: India Today,

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