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Website for missing children soon

Killings in Nithari have given a boost to a government effort to launch a website to trace missing children, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2007 19:26 IST

Killings in Nithari have given a boost to a government effort to launch a website to trace missing children.

A first initiative of its kind is a joint venture of the ministry of Women and Child Development and UNICEF. "We expect to put up a pilot project on the web soon," a UNICEF official told HT. The pilot will connect a few cities with high human trafficking initially.

In the years to come, the government plans to cover every police station in the country and it will also become mandatory to put complete information on the
website about each missing children report lodged in the country. The information on the web would be available to all investigating agencies and NGOs
across the nation. There will also be a facility for independent bodies to feed information about missing children. "We are working on security aspects of such
a facility," the UNICEF official said.

So, if a child is found in a brothel in Delhi, the police would have a database to immediately find from where the child has gone missing. At present, when a
kid is traced the information is send to the state police headquarters and then to district headquarters and finally, to the police station of the kid's native
village. Through the web the information about the child being found will be sent directly to the police station where the missing report has been lodged. "It
will greatly help in case of children who are found many years after they have gone missing or are traumatised and they don't remember about their native place exactly," a government official said.

In addition to this, the government officials, say it will also help in speeding the process of restoration of the missing children to their families. In many cases, government agencies take months to transport the child back to the parents citing administrative delays. "We believe the new system will bring accountability as it will be a much more transparent process," a WCD ministry official said.

In another step, the WCD ministry is also asking the Home Ministry to amend CrPC to make a missing persons report a cognisable offence. At present, it is a
non-cognisable offence and therefore it is not mandatory for police to investigate the case.