A child goes missing every 5 hours
According to South African 2013 Crime Stats, a child goes missing every five hours.
This video illustrates how easy it is to abduct a child.
Even though the children in the video above have been taught not to talk to strangers, they willingly and without hesitation accompany the stranger to “see the puppies”.
Several mothers in the park were told of the experiment, and consented, only to be shocked to see their children lured away from the playground by a friendly stranger with a puppy.
Researchers remind parents that strangers do not necessarily appear scary or ominous. In fact, they’re most often friendly and charming.
Child trafficking is a growing global problem
According to UNICEF and World Concern some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year. The demand for children as forced labourers or sex slaves is a shocking yet undeniable reality.
But not only are the children sold for sexual purposes, there is an enormous black market in various countries for child slaves. The children are set to work in households, but mostly on farms, in factories and in trades.
In South Africa and in other African countries, children are abducted for their body parts to be used by traditional healers as muti. It would be difficult to determine just how many of these crimes occur, but there have been cases where individuals have testified to abducting children for this purpose, even engaging in the horrific acts of mutilation.
What can you do to avoid your child becoming the next statistic?
Telling your children not to speak to strangers is not enough. You should be present and aware of where your children are at all times when they are in your care.
Building a greater sense of community where neighbours, friends and family look out for each other would also help create a safer environment for children.