Over 4,000 children go missing or run away from home in Romania in one year

Some 4,200 children went missing from home in Romania in the last year, over 97% of the cases being about children who decided to run away, according to data from the Romanian Police (IGPR), cited by Save the Children Romania organization.

Most disappearances are recorded among teenagers, the data shows. Only 132 of the children who went missing between May 15, 2015 and May 15, 2016 were aged under 10, the rest being aged between 10 and 14, and over 14.

Most missing children left home or childcare centers voluntarily, for an indefinite period. Most of them were found, only 338 missing minors appearing in the police records on May 15, 2016.

Most children run away from home because they feel neglected, especially in families where one or both parents are abroad for work. There are also other reasons such as lack of supervision, conflicts, abuse, lack of communication with parents, lack of education, school dropout and negative entourage influence, alcohol and drug consumption, and the family’s bad economic situation, according to IGPR representatives.

At a European level, most voluntarily disappearances are registered among children aged 15, according to data from Missing Children Europe. More than half of the disappearances are voluntarily.

International Missing Children’s Day is celebrated on May 25.

Irina Popescu, irina.popescu@romania-insider.com

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