Children gone missing, abducted, sexually assaulted, raped or killed will shock any society. But are our governing bodies doing enough to track the children that are reported missing each year?
Every single day sickening reports emerge of missing and murdered children make headlines. But what is more worse is that many predators are receiving shelter from judges who are allowing them back out on the streets to stalk and molest their next victim/victims–as if this practice should be accepted or tolerated.
News reports cited that nearly 800,000 children disappear every year or about 2,000 a day.
Now, this disappearance could be categorized as family abduction, nonfamily abduction, runaways, throwaways (abandoned children), or lost and ‘otherwise missing’ children.
Staggering statistics shows
1. Nearly, 2,000 children are missing every day, and approximately one million annually, in America.
2. The independent for Britain mentions: A child goes missing every five minutes while others suggest that up to 130,000 disappear every year.
3. Nearly 37 million children missing in the 2000 census in China.
4. About 381 children under the age of 18 were reported missing, with Gauteng and the Western Cape having the highest number of reported cases. This clearly shows the risk, which the children of South Africa are daily, exposed.
5. Every year the Czech police receive several thousand reports of missing children.
6. Belgium’s leading child protection agency has warned that hundreds of child migrants and asylum seekers coming to the EU without their parents are going missing.
7. A staggering 45,000 children go missing in India every year.
The irony of the situation is that, in most of the cases, the authorities actually don’t even know how many children really go missing.
What should be done?
Countries must look into the infrastructure that would create monitoring system that records and analyse every missing child case – why a child has run away, what places children tend to run away from, and where they seek refuge.
With such information at hand, the country’s organizations dealing with child care could join forces, guarantee children better conditions and prevent them from taking to the streets and becoming victims of abuse.
But before this, the authorities must set some parameters before terming vanishing of a child as ‘missing’. For instance, if a child doesn’t show up after a gap of 48 to 72 hours, they must categorize him as missing.
After all, except for the authorities, parents have no one to whom they can look up to.