Over 104,000 missing children cases filed in Turkey in eight years: Report
A total of 104,531 children were reported officially missing between 2008-2016, according to the judicial statistics released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), daily Birgün reported on July 3.
The statistics reportedly did not give information on how many children were later found by the officials. In 2008, the number of reported missing children was indicated as 4,517, whereas this number spiked to 17,706 and 11,691 respectively in 2015 and 2016, the daily said.
Of the total figure of 104,531, 59,435 consisted of girls. The number of children who were filed missing in official reports after running away from their families for various reasons was 26,168.
Two experts working on children’s rights told daily Birgün that children were also reported missing after running away from shelters or their own homes due to reasons such as violence, abuse, and poverty.
“We can say missing children are at risk of being exposed to many kinds of violence after getting lost. We should focus our efforts on preventing children from going missing,” Işıl Erdemli and Ebru Ergin, who conduct studies at the International Children’s Center, told the daily.
“During search efforts, families should be supported in psycho-social terms. Also, like in Europe, a ‘missing children support line’ should be established for missing children to receive help,” they said.