Close to 30 cases of missing children are reported every day in Kenya as families battle with thoughts of whether their loved ones are alive or dead.
As the world marks international missing children day, Missing Child Kenya Executive Director Maryanne Muyendo says there is need for Kenya to create a database on missing children to collaborate efforts aimed at linking parents with their lost children.
Missing Child society of Kenya is blaming lack of a harmonized response to protect vulnerable children for the problem.
Compared to rural areas, child abduction cases are said to be higher in urban areas with slums leading in cases of kidnapping due to high unemployment rates as most perpetrators ask for a ransom before the victim is released.
Muyendo says collaboration with security organs as well as creating awareness will aid in reducing cases of kidnapping and exploitation.
According to a 2019 report by the National Crime and Research Centre, Kenya was ranked number 17 out 19 on the list of countries where the rate of kidnapping is the highest.
The prevalence said to be fueled by high value that the African society places on children.
According to the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, eight million children go missing annually which translates to nearly 22,000 children every day around the world.
Teaching children a few basic security tips such as their family names, name of school or location of their home, an emergency number such as the toll free child help line 116 and the parent’s number could help avert possible cases of kidnapping.