Every three days, a child goes missing in Albania according to the National Centre for Missing Children in Albania.
Yesterday the NGO along with parents, activists and other organisations formed a human chain in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Tirana, hoping to raise awareness of the risks children and young people face.
“This human chain is held in front of the Government and Parliament to ask them publicly not to forget missing children! Children in Albania continue to be at risk because of public insecurity, trafficking, abuse and kidnapping by sexual predators! The Government and the Parliament must urgently approve proposed changes to the Criminal Code on child protection.”- said Altin Hazizaj, Director of CRCA/ECPAT Albania.
Latest statistics from the NGO shows that each year an average of 120 children vanish from their families and every day a child considers running away.
According to a press release, at the time of writing, there are 12 missing children in the country and their parents are waiting in hope that one day they will return. Out of the total 365 children that have gone missing over the last 3 years, these 12 are still not accounted for.
Some children are kidnapped by people close to them, others are trafficked, and some run away due to neglect, violence, or discrimination at the hands of a family member. All of these children are at risk of criminal groups or sexual predators, according to the NGO.
National Police reports state that over the last three years, a total of 50 trafficked minors have been reported– consisting of 34 girls and 16 boys.
The National Centre for Missing Children in Albanian has publicly called on law enforcement agencies to reopen every single unsolved missing child case.