A hub for child trafficking? Only 50% of total children missing in Delhi return home safely

New Delhi: Reports of missing children are not so uncommon these days. And Delhi being the ‘crime capital’ tops here as well. As per government records, thousands of children were reported missing in the national capital every year. Among them barely 50% are recovered or returned safely to their homes.

Moreover, the national data on the child disappearances by “TrackChild” – a portal by Ministry of Women and Child Development – revealed that, in the past 12 months, 6,295 cases of missing children were reported while only 3,245 (may include missing children from past years) were recovered. More than three thousand children still remain untraced.

If we look at the data of Delhi itself, a concerning tally of 17 children went missing from the national capital every day in the past 12 months.

As on December 19, TrackChild shows that 401 children went missing in last one month while 27 in the last 24 hours. A detailed analysis of the yearly figures reveals that in every 3 hours, 2 children go missing in Delhi.

In Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, 1169, 2074 and 1578 children went missing respectively in the past 12 months. However, these numbers are way below the figures from the national capital.

Organised crime

Some of the reasons behind the cases of missing children could be kidnapping, abduction, trafficking, illegal adoption, and run away due to miscommunication with their parents.

Reena Banerjee – a social activist and founder of NGO, Nav Srishti Organisation – told DB Post that there are organised gangs behind the abduction of children from the capital. These gangs are employing the kidnapped children into various money- making modes, which depend on the age and sex of the child.

Infants below the age of two are most likely to be illegally adopted by desperate infertile married couples – to whom these kids are sold by traffickers.

While girls are dragged into sex trade after being injected with hormonal injections to induce early puberty.

Abducted children are also murdered for organ trafficking, tissues, or other body products, usually for transplantation. There is a global need or demand for healthy body parts for transplantation.

“Children abducted from Delhi were sent out of the city according to the demands while the children kidnapped from other states were taken to the capital”, Banerjee said.

According to her, the children residing in undeveloped areas and slums on the outskirts of the city are the easy targets of the kidnappers.

(Story by: Shaihzad Abid)