One child went missing every hour in Madhya Pradesh during past 6 years
Bhopal: Heightened awareness and government claims apart, a whopping 53,188 children went missing in Madhya Pradesh in past six years, meaning one child went missing every hour.
About 62% of the missing children are girls.
One out of four such missing children (26%) are never found and past statistics show that over 70% of these untraced children are girls.
During year 2015 itself, as many as 7797 children went missing in the state, 11% rise from 7034 in 2014. In previous five years (2010-14), in all 45,391 children were reported missing, NGO Child Rights and You (CRY) and its local partner Hifazat have found in reply to a right to information (RTI) query they posted.
In the face of the statistics, state home minister Babulal Gaur said that a special cell was being planned to trace missing children. He said that in most missing cases it is found that children run away from home for small reasons and then come back. “However the police have instructions to seriously investigate each case of missing,” the minister told NewsBits.in.
In the RTI reply to CRY, the Juvenile Aid Bureau of MP Criminal Investigation Department (CID) mentioned that between 2010 and 2015, as many as 53,188 children were reported missing in state. Though the breakups of the 2015 figures were not available, in previous five years, 11847 out of 45,391 remained untraced.
CRY’s on ground experience has shown that a huge number of girls go missing in the 12-18 age bracket as compared to the boys. While there are many cases of elopement a majority of the girls are forced into domestic work and commercial sex trade, a CRY statement said.
Amongst the districts, Indore is the most unsafe with more than 4000 children missing from 2010 to 2014. Girls constituted more than 60% of this number. Bhopal has second highest missing number of 3230.
CRY has said that Missing children represent a conglomeration of various social problems ranging from kidnappings/abductions/trafficking to children who run away on their home to escape violence and abject poverty.
These missing children are most likely to become victims of heinous and organized crimes such as rape, prostitution, child pornography, forced labour, begging and organ trade. Lately there has been evidence to support stealing of young children for illegal adoption.
In Madhya Pradesh children from the poor tribal belt are most vulnerable. They are often lured to bigger cities on the promise of better job opportunities. In due course of time families lose all contact with their children who then end up in the missing children list
Soha Moitra, Regional Director, CRY says” It’s a grave concern so many children go missing every year in Madhya Pradesh. The first few hours after the child goes missing are the most crucial in locating a child since many of them are quickly smuggled into neighboring states. The fight over jurisdiction further delays the recovery process. Lapse of time, ineffective tracking system and insufficient information database minimize the chance of these children being brought back home.”
Missing complaints are still not dealt with the seriousness it deserves reflecting the low priority accorded to children. However in the face of such startling statistics, it is high time we ensure that our children live in a protected environment and do not become victims of apathy, negligence and poor implementation of laws, she has further said.
* Total number of children missing in 2015: 7797
* 53188 children went missing between 2010 and 2015 of which more than 60% were girls
* 72% girls remained untraced between 2010 and 2014
* More than 90% girls in Gwalior, Balaghat and Anoopur districts remained untraced in 2014