7,928 kids go missing in Delhi in 2015

An RTI reply stated that 22 kids were missing daily

7,928 children went missing in 2015, accounting for 22 children every day, in the national capital, according to a RTI reply from Delhi Police.

There is an increase of 1,500 from 2014 in the figure and the data reveals that the number of boys in the age group of 0-12 years who went missing was much higher as compared to the girls. Similarly, girls formed a major share of those missing in 12-18 years age bracket.

The RTI was filed by Child Rights organisation CRY and its partner Navsristhi.
According to CRY, its ground experience has shown that while young boys found missing are majorly employed as child labourers, girls are mostly forced into domestic work and commercial sex trade.

 Even the percentage of untraced children has risen steadily with every year across all age groups. Although there was an increase in the number of both FIRs registered and children traced in 2015 as compared to the previous year, the percentage of untraced children however remained high especially for girls. 1,335 girls and 835 boys remained untraced raising serious concerns about the status of these children.

“It’s a grave concern that the count of missing children is increasing every year in the national capital. 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. 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,” said Soha Moitra, Regional Director, CRY.

Another RTI query seeking district wise break-up in the city showed varying trends. Data available for nine out of the 13 police districts showed that Outer Delhi was the most unsafe with maximum number of children missing from that area, followed by South West with half the numbers. Almost 50 per cent of missing children in Outer Delhi remained untraced last year.

According to the Union Home ministry’s data released last year, Delhi was amongst the top four states which account for 60 per cent missing children in the country for the period 2010-2014. The data also revealed that nationally more than 3.85 lakh children have gone missing in India during the same period.

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