Every day, 14 children never return home, leaving parents to worry over their sons and daughters without any assurance of when they’ll be seeing them again.
Around 1.2 million children are victims of child trafficking across the world, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). In India alone, at least 6 of 14 are forced into child trafficking and about 50,000 children are missing every year, recent crime data shows.
According to AFP, Delhi and Mumbai have become a hub of large-scale child trafficking, where gangs kidnap children and force them to beg, work in factories, or as sex slaves. “These gangs target urban slum children because they can easily track their movement, lure them with food and kidnap them,” Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told AFP. “Some poor parents are scared to even report the case to the police and most do not have photographs of their children to submit as an evidence,” he said.
Senior police officer V. Renganathan founded the Pehchaan (Recognition) initiative in which police officers take pictures of children in slum areas for their records and provide copies to their parents. “The idea is to safeguard vulnerable children belonging to the poorer sections, millions of families in this country are too poor to even think about taking pictures,” Renganathan said.