Long-term missing children cases not being investigated - Blaine
With an average of 150 children reported missing per month, founder of Hear the Children's Cry Betty Ann Blaine, is lamenting the level of attention being given to the issue of missing children.
"There is no attention given to long-term missing children and I would love to know how the police deal with those cases because there is no ongoing investigation for long-term missing children," she said in an interview with The Gleaner.
Blaine has described the problem of missing children as a crisis, noting that a breakdown in family life is one of the root causes of the issue.
"We receive between 130 and 150 reports every single month. That alone tells you that we are in a crisis that has to do with what is happening in the homes with our children. We are only a country of 2.7 million people, so I suspect that this statistic must be one of the highest in the world per capita when you look at the number of children reported missing," she said.
While pointing out that about 80 per cent of the children who go missing return home, Blaine said she is, however, very concerned about those children who remained missing.
"We have a situation in Jamaica where we have long-term missing children who are unaccounted for," she said.
According to Blaine, there is no ongoing investigation into the cases of long-term missing children.
"We don't know where they are, we don't know if they are dead or alive, we don't know if they are victims of child trafficking or whether they are in the sex industry," she added.
Blaine called for consensus and action among government agencies and law-enforcement officials in regards to cases of long-term missing children.
"I don't think they are being investigated. We don't get the sense that they are, particularly for those children who have been missing for more than two years. I think those cases have gone cold," she said.