Over 2,500 kids went missing in Karachi last year

Sunday, November 21, 2010

KARACHI - More than 2,500 children were reported as missing in Karachi last year, an NGO has revealed.

Roshni Helpline, an NGO that deals with childrens’ rights, said that as many as 2,582 children went missing in Karachi and these figures don’t include the many disappearances that are not reported by their families.

Our research reveals that Pakistan does not have any national or provincial data on missing children, let alone proper guidelines to investigate such cases, Express Tribune Sunday quoted Roshni Helpline president Muhammad Ali as saying.

We visited a hundred police stations across the city over a period of several months, where it was revealed that 2,582 complaints were registered in 2009. I am sure the

national figures would be even higher.

Of the missing kids, 2,319 were boys and 263 were girls.

Statistics show that 78 percent of the missing children belonged to the age group of 12 years to 18 years while the remaining 22 percent were younger than 12 years.

The chief causes for children running away from their homes was physical, sexual and emotional abuse at home and at school coupled with economic and financial hardships faced by their families, the media report said.

The NGO said around 80 percent of the children who went missing belonged to the middle or lower socio-economic structure of society.

Ali said the government needs to own this issue and take responsibility to effectively tackle it by compelling the police to take up investigations on a priority basis.

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