Hundreds of children go missing every year in Nepal

It has been found that middleman forces them to work as domestic helpers. Such children are subjected to sexual exploitation.

Gajendra Basnet

April 5, 2019

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hundreds of children go missing every year in Nepal
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KATHMANDU: In Nepal, the number of children missing has been increasing every year. Among the missing children, most of them are between the age group of 10-15 years.

As per the record maintained by the Children Search Coordination Centre, Kathmandu, a total of 2,210 children went missing from different parts of the country in the last eight months of the current fiscal year. Among them, 1,050 have been found while whereabouts 1,160 were still unknown.

Experts say most of the children go missing within the country. According to the center, 43 children were rescued from different parts of India in the past year. More girls go missing than boys.

Records paint a grim picture for the earlier fiscal year too. Some 2,330 children went missing in the fiscal year 2017/18. Among them, only 1,017 were found and whereabouts of 1,313 were still unknown. It shows that the number of children found is relatively low.

According to Police Inspector Mohan Bikram Dahal, 72 percent of kids missing from Kathmandu Valley are found. Meanwhile, 22 percent of children missing throughout the country are found.

Experts say most of the children go missing within the country. According to the center, 43 children were rescued from different parts of India in the past year. More girls go missing than boys.

It has been found that most children leave home due to tension within the family while others due to peer pressure. A second marriage by parents and peer pressure, among others, have been the reasons for deserting home, as stated by the children, who have been found.

It has been found that middleman forces them to work as domestic helpers. Such children are subjected to sexual exploitation.

“Wrong use of social media has been one of the major reasons for the incidences. They desert their homes due to immature relationship and attraction toward urban lifestyle,’ said Inspector Dahal. He adds most of the missing kids suffer sexual exploitation.

According to Children Search Coordination Centre, most of the missing children hail from poor families of Nuwakot, Kavrepalanchowk, Sindhupalchowk, Rautahat, and Rukum, among other districts.

It has been found that middleman forces them to work as domestic helpers. Such children are subjected to sexual exploitation.

Two years ago, The Sun, a tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom, had revealed that children from the earthquake-affected areas in Nepal are being trafficked to Britain. It was also reported that the trafficked kids were deployed as domestic helpers. The tabloid exposed that a Nepali child was sold at a rate up to 5,250-pound sterling.

Children are the future of the country and it’s the duty of the government to shape them as a capable citizen through effective education. Although the number of children missing is increasing each year, the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen has not taken any effective steps. Observers say it is indeed a sad state of affairs.

Fiscal years

Missing

Found

Whereabouts unknown

2014/15

786

309

477

2015/16

1502

408

1094

2016/17

2772

720

2052

2017/18

2330

1017

1313

Eight months of current fiscal year

2210

1050

1160

Source: Children Search Coordination Centre, Kathmandu

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