434 children missed in April-May, 187 rescued

Mahima Devkota / Kathmandu, May. 21: A total of 434 children have been recorded as missing in a month from mid-April to mid-May across the country.

Of them, 187 have been rescued and other 247 are still missing, which means 43 percent of the missing children are yet to be rescued.

The data of the National Child Right Council (NCRC) on missing children in the month of Baisakh (mid-April to mid-May) shows that in Province 1, 93 children went missing, where only 48 have been rescued so far. Of 96 children that went missing in Province 2, only 30 have been rescued. In Bagmati Province, 111 went missing and 60 have been rescued. In Gandaki Province, 34 missing children have been recorded, 16 have been rescued. Of 34 children that went missing in Lumbini Province, 13 have been rescued. Karnali Province recorded 24 missing children and of them only 6 have been rescued. Sudurpaschim Province recorded 42 missing children, where14 have been rescued.

According to Ram Bahadur Chand, communication officer at the National Child Rights Council (NCRC), no changes have been observed on reporting of missing children cases in the month of Baisakh despite the enforcement of prohibitory order. In previous years, 300 children would be recorded as missing a month now the average missing cases of a month has climbed up to 400.

Chand added that a total of 434 children went missing in the month of Baisakh. Of them, 187 were recused.

Chand said that 32 of the missing children in Kathmandu Valley in Baisakh are reunited with the family and 32 of the total recued children are in the Temporary Protection Center. In addition, 25 neglected children were found in the Kathmandu Valley in Baisakh. Of them, 15 are reunited with family and 10 others are in the Temporary Protection Center.

Similarly, a total of 187 missing children in Baisakh across the nation were reunited with family.

Similarly, Sagar Bhandari, Hotline Chief at NCRC said that the number of missing children continues despite the COVID-19 crisis. Most of them are females and missing children are mainly from the 14-18 age group.

Bhandari said, “We rescue the children, but the chances of spreading the COVID-19 from rescued children to other children in the center remains high as they are brought without PCR testing. There are no holding center and separate PCR testing facilities so we have to bring the children directly to the centers.”

Currently, of the missing children in Baisakh in the Kathmandu Valley, 85 are being sheltered in the temporary protection center. Of them, 40 percent are infected with COVID-19 infection. The situation is grim as the caregivers are themselves affected by the virus, he added.

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