Twenty- two children went missing everyday in the Capital in 2015, up from the dmissing cgaily figure of 18 the year before, showed an analysis by NGO Child Rights and You (Cry).
As many as 7,928 children went missing in 2015. This was an increase of 1,500 children compared to 2014’s figures, showed Delhi Police’s response to the NGO’s RTI plea.
“It’s a grave concern that the count of missing children is increasing every year in the national capital,” said Cry regional director Soha Moitra.
HT on Thursday reported that organised gangs traffic most missing children and that the Capital is fast turning into a hub for the activity.
“The first few hours after the child goes missing are the most crucial especially in a city like Delhi with porous borders from where children are quickly smuggled into neighbouring states,” said Moitra.
Outer Delhi is the most unsafe in the Capital for kids where 50% of those missing in 2015 remained untraced, showed the report.
Moitra said the fight over jurisdiction further delayed recovery of the children. “Lapse of time, ineffective tracking system and insufficient information database minimise the chance of these children being brought back home.”
The data showed boys formed the major chunk of those missing from the 0-12 age group, while girls dominated the 12-18 years bracket.
“Cry’s on-ground experience has shown that while young boys found missing are largely employed as child labourers, girls are mostly forced into domestic work and commercial sex trade,” said Moitra.
Most cases of untraced girls were from west Delhi, showed data.
Moitra said missing children represent a conglomeration of social problems such as kidnappings, trafficking, violence and abject poverty.
“A majority of the children missing are from poor families, especially migrant families who come to Delhi…in search of livelihood. They…are most likely to become victims of heinous and organised crimes such as rape, prostitution, child pornography, forced labour, begging and organ trade.”
Moitra also said children are usually stolen for illegal adoption.