The number of children who went missing and remain untraced across the country has increased by around 84 % between 2013 and 2015, with Delhi and Maharashtra recording most such cases, a leading NGO said on Tuesday.
CRY (Child Rights and You) estimated that around 180 children go missing on an average every day, including 22 from the national capital. The total number of untraced children in 2015 was 62,988 as against 34,244 in the year 2013, it said, quoting Union Home Ministry data.
Among the states, as of 2015, 9,414 children have not been found in Maharashtra and 9,001 remain untraced in Delhi, which form the bulk of such incidents, CRY said in a statement. “Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana follow suit with increasing percentage of untraced children. Madhya Pradesh and Haryana have witnessed around 60 % growth in the number of untraced children in the last three years,” it said.
Delays in reporting and investigation was identified as major factors behind the rise in such cases by Komal Ganotra, Director (Policy and Advocacy) of CRY.
“While we know missing children are often led to be a part of organised crimes, illegal child labour and trafficking, there needs to be a differential structure of investigation to track them. “The major reason why children are trafficked from West Bengal is different from Delhi. A comprehensive data base of children is yet to see the light of the day. In many cases, parents resort to fact finding themselves and turn to police as the last resort,” Ganotra said.