‘5 children reported missing everyday in last 5 yrs’

Around five children were reported missing <g data-gr-id="33">everyday</g> in the national Capital in the last five years, according to data provided by the Delhi police.

Of 8,470 missing children, including 4,620 boys and 2,665 girls, around 1,800 are yet to be traced, the records reveal. The ones among yet to be traced, include around 600 girls.

“Not all children end up at shelter homes. The presence of several human trafficking rackets in the city raises concern. While boys are usually sold off at eateries, farms and residences to be engaged as extra hands, girls are many a time pushed into prostitution,” said a senior police official.

Almost half of the children (up to 12 years of age), who have gone missing in the past five years are aged below eight, and around 830 of them – including 350 girls – are yet to be tracked, police records say.

It is more difficult to track the eight-year-olds, who are extremely vulnerable, said the official. The issue of missing children was also highlighted in September 2014, after a three-year-old girl, who went for a picnic near India Gate with her parents, went missing. The incident, which went viral on social media, led to such a massive outrage that the alleged abductors abandoned the girl within a week. The girl was found on a busy road in West Delhi, with her hair shaved (<g data-gr-id="39">suspectedly</g> to avoid being spotted), and handed over to her parents. However, the police have not been able to identify the abductors till date.

After that incident, the police pulled up its socks and over 1,200 missing children have been rescued since then.

About 650 children, aged between eight and 12 years, have been rescued. The others rescued are below eight years old. Also, close to one-third of the 1,200 missing ones were girls, according to police records. The Delhi Police <g data-gr-id="37">have</g> launched several initiatives such as ‘Pehchaan’, ‘Sneh’ and ‘Milap’ to trace missing kids.

Anti-Human Trafficking Units have been formed in each district and in the Crime Branch and police have formulated Standard Operating Procedure in case of missing children which mandates prompt registration of FIR.

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