July 21, 2012
Children were considered “treasures” in some peaceful, primitive societies where parents would not punish them physically and would strive to keep the child sheltered from all threats. This natural instinct of protecting one’s child seems to have been weakened by the transformation in human societies where child trafficking is a thriving black business. From the around the world, a marked rise in child abduction has been reported in media, and the story continues.
Perhaps the most startling increase in child abduction cases comes from India where an NGO report informed that in 15 years time, from 1994 to 2009, kidnapping of children in the country went up by more than 900 percent. The report notes that 75 percent of the victims come from poor families or lower socio-economic classes. The motives for these cases of abduction vary, mostly human trafficking and forcing into labor or prostitution.
Pakistan, considered one of the most dangerous countries in the context of child safety has also witnessed a marked rise in the incidence of child abduction. Last year, more than 2500 cases of child abduction surfaced in Karachi city alone; ransom being the motive behind most abductions while abduction by terror groups have also been on a rise which leads to forced recruitment and training of these children as militants. It is noteworthy that most suicide bombers reportedly fall in the age range of later teens to early 20s. Among other places, kids going to or from school are also frequently become the victim of abduction – many a time involving the perpetration of a relative or friend of the family.
In Egypt (Africa), concerns about child abductions have been raised this year with an estimated three-fold increase in child abduction cases since the uprising overthrew President Hosni Mubarak’s regime in 2011. An NGO head working in Egypt revealed that the main reason the children in the country were abducted for was the black business of organ trafficking, though kidnapping for ransom also happens in cases where abductors are certain the child’s parents are in a position to pay a big sum for getting their child back.
Even in the developed world, child abduction continues to rise. A peculiar motive for many reported abductions in the United Kingdom is parental custody. A parent abducts their children from the UK to take overseas into countries where the authorities can’t exert legal or political influence to retrieve them. In 2011, BBC reported a rise of 10 percent in child abduction cases.
Children in the 21st century are still considered treasures – not only by their parents but also by organized criminal gangs and traffickers to whom a child is not a life but a form of quick money. These times call for ever stronger parental instincts of protection to make sure the human treasure is not exploited inhumanely.
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