Although many of you do not want to think about it there are a number of S.A runaway children – sad facts are that the majority of these children are never found again. On average each year in South Africa one and a half thousand children go missing with Johannesburg and Pretoria leading the way in this regard with over 200 children going missing from Pretoria alone on a yearly basis. Of these children that go missing, it has been said that over 900 of them will never return or be found. What is most scary is that those children who have run away run the risk of falling in to the hands of some serious criminals as they have no way to fend for themselves. South Africa is known internationally as a human trafficking hotspot and this means that these runaway children are especially vulnerable to these trafficking syndicates.
If you have a child that has gone missing, unlike American law, you can report that child missing within 24 hours as there is no law in South Africa saying otherwise. This is crucial as many experts say that the first 24 hours after a person has gone missing is crucial. One of the many SA runaway children sad facts is that most children are presumed to be dead by the police unless evidence shows otherwise after 72 hours from their time of disappearance.
What is even more disturbing is that every six hours a child goes missing in South Africa and that the majority of children that do go missing are either murdered for muthi, or by their parents as a way in which to avoid paying maintenance for a child. In the case of a child being kidnapped by their fathers, as is the case with many of South African missing children, the police tend not to consider this as serious as other cases. However it has been shown that there is an alarming increase in the amount of fathers of children who are murdering them in order to not have to worry about paying maintenance. What is more is that this figure increases year or year and especially so if the child is born out of wedlock. With regards to the muthi killings, reports show that this can be anywhere between one a month to three hundred a year and this statistic is based only on the cases where it was proven so who knows what the exact figure is.
For those of you who, like me, after reading these horrible and frightening facts want to know what you can do to help then here are some avenues for you to investigate. The Pink Ladies is an organisation that was developed in order to help find as many missing children as possible and have a website where you can download flyers and distribute them to help find missing children from your area. In addition to this, you can also speak to Missing Children SA who aim to help find all missing children and even facilitate the reporting of a missing child should someone contact them about their missing child.
It really is shocking that a country like South Africa which is developed in so many ways is unable to stop this horrible occurrence and save many families from heart ache. The scariest thing about all of this is that the majority of missing children will be sexually abused in some way and this can result in irreparable damage. The work that Missing Children SA and the Pink Ladies do should be highlighted and more and more people should donate their time in the fight against these horrible statistics.