According to the India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development, 242,938 children disappeared between 2012 and 2017. However, according to TrackChild, an Indian government database, 237,040 disappeared between 2012 and 2014 alone. This indicates that this tragedy is actually much worse and severely under-reported, according to a 2017 article in The New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/19/opinion/missing-children-india.html).
While the number of missing girls and boys are both very high, young girls are most affected by this horrendous reality, as reported by The Times of India (https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/country-s-capital-not-safe-for-children-either-22-go-missing-from-delhi-streets-every-day-257497.html).
The majority of these missing girls are from very poor villages and tribes where they don’t have access to education and opportunities to grow. In most situations, their parents are facing the same lack of opportunity, thus contributing to an endless cycle of poverty and desperation.
According to the U.S. Department of State, “India is a source, destination and transit country for men, women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking” (https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2015/243455.htm). Furthermore, the US State Department advises that the majority of India’s child trafficking problem is internal and originates from the most disadvantaged social castes, tribal communities and religious minorities.