USA: 801,332 children disappeared in one year in 2000

Another horrifying statistic has emerged in the worldwide debate on disappearing children: in the United States of America, one child disappears every 37 seconds. A total of 801, 332 children disappeared in the year 2000. What happens to these children? Many are taken by fathers or mothers who have been separated from the children through divorce. These are the fortunate ones, who certainly make up a large part of this statistic, but whose welfare is guaranteed by those who “kidnap” them. More than 80% of children who have been kidnapped by a parent do not suffer any ill effects (physically or mentally). The tragedy is those who are taken by malevolent elements, for sexual or commercial purposes. “Video nasties” are a reality in the western world. Children, or adults, are kidnapped and are filmed being sexually or physically tortured and the films are then copied and sold on the black market. Many of these films are responsible for having created scenes of actual violence. Take, for example, the case of James Bulger in the United Kingdom. A three-year-old boy was tortured to death by two ten-year-olds (eight years ago). During the trial, it transpired that the killers had been watching such video films. The fact that so many mothers are working nowadays means that many more children are left unprotected. The ratio of human vice has a constant value and as lamentable as it may seem, there will always be latent, or active, perverse elements in society whose pleasure is to subvert the general equilibrium, even if this involves the violation of the rights of defenceless children. Given that children are left more unprotected nowadays, it is essential that they are taught basic rules about how to react in a case of attempted kidnap. Knowing how to react, or how not to react, could be the difference between a potential incident and a family tragedy. What brings our planet together is our collective love of our children. No political ideology, no social system can be above this basic human desire to protect those who are, after all, our future. Whether or not these children are Russians, Africans, Americans, yellow, blue or green, we all have a collective responsibility to root out the perpetrators of evil, identify them, process them and punish them. Child molesters and those who make money out of the suffering of innocents, before they have even the right to reach maturity, have no place in today’s world.

TIMOTHY BANCROFT- HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON