Delhi may be the capital of India, but, it has developed a reputation for being one of the most unsafe cities to live in. With cases of rapes, molestation, thievery, murders and a lot of corruption, the city is not an ideal place to live in. Joining all the crimes that already exist in the city, it has not also been named an unsafe place to live in for children.
Based on reports, a massive number of 7,928 children went missing from the national capital in 2015. The number was an increase by 1,500 missing children cases from the previous year. According to this information, 22 children, on an average, go missing on a daily basis in the city.
CRY (Child Rights and You) along with its partner Navrishti, both child rights organisations, filed an RTI whose results showed us the new horrors of the capital. According to another statistic, 22,000 children went missing from Delhi over the past three years!
On questioning the Delhi police, they responded saying that cases involving boys going missing between the ages of 1-12 were more in comparison to girls. On the other hand, girls between the ages of 13-18 had higher cases of missing persons in comparison to boys.
On ground experience and investigations have shown the clear segregation of work between the two genders. While boys are, in most cases, put into labour work at shops or construction sites, girls are forced into domestic labour as well as the commercial sex trade.
Although, the missing children for whom FIR’s were filed are traced and found, many such cases go untraced. Most of the untraced cases are those of missing girls. On observing cases in 2015, a total of 1,335 girls and 835 boys have still not been found which raise serious concern and worry about the status and conditions of the children. The cases of untraced children has risen every year in all the age brackets.
Based on a separate report, outer Delhi is said to be the most unsafe. The report investigated and found information on missing children cases according to the districts. Half the cases filed have been from Outer Delhi while another huge number of cases came from South-West Delhi. Most of the missing children cases in outer Delhi have gone by untraced with no sign of the children anywhere. The cases make this area the most unsafe in the city.
CRY Regional Director Soha Moitra says it is 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 minimise the chance of these children being brought back home,” she said.
Though, the state and central governments have made several laws and taken up several initiatives, the cases of child trafficking keep increasing.