The number of missing children is constantly rising. While proper mechanism for their rehabilitation is yet to be a reality, a majority of these kids are trafficked.
Areas bordering Nepal and Bangladesh are most prone to human trafficking, say reports.
A study on missing and trafficked children from border areas of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is being carried out by Gram Niyojan Kendra as part of the ‘Missing Children Alert’ initiative of Plan International.
The survey that began in June in Bahraich, Balrampur, Lakimpur Kheri, Maharajganj, Pilibhit, Shrawasti and Siddharthanagar along the border areas of Bihar, revealed that girls constituted a major percentage of the total trafficked children.
As per the available information from the first round of the data analysis of the study, the number of missing children from the 14 border districts was 2,185.
The number of trafficked children was 1,474 and kidnapped children 1,263.
Treating kidnapped children as missing, the numbers rose to 3,448.
Girls constituted about 77% of the total trafficked children.
The study revealed that incidences of missing children were maximum in west Champaran (897) and those of trafficking in Madhubani (627) due to higher migration because of floods, poverty, illiteracy and little scope of employment. As per the survey, Bahraich was a hub of trafficking in UP.
The study revealed that majority of the children belonged to the weaker sections of society and those trafficked were in the 10-15 years category.
It also showed that the tracing and tracking practices varied according to the background of the families.
About 30% of the surveyed families were found taking services of witchcraft/ tantriks to trace their missing children.
Others took help from panchayats and approached the police.
However, the major drawback highlighted was the ignorance of parents as to where to approach in such circumstances.