Bangladesh, Nepal to use Indian system for missing children

Kolkata, Oct 5 (IANS) Banking on the success of the Indian government's online children tracking project, SAARC neighbours Nepal and Bangladesh are set to introduce the digital system next year, a SAARC official said Saturday.

"Bangladesh and Nepal will replicate the Track Child project and the Indian government has offered help to Bangladesh in this regard. Bilateral discussions are in progress. The programme is scheduled for 2014," said Rinchen Chophel, director general, South Asia Initiative to End Violence against Children (SAIEVAC).

SAIEVAC is an inter-governmental SAARC apex body working for children's rights in the region.

The Indian project traces missing children through real time data on children availing rehabilitation services under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme, launched by the union women and child development ministry. It was introduced for the first time in 2008 in West Bengal.

"We are looking at more regional co-operation and if the project results are promising then we will take it to other member countries," said Chophel.

Recently the central government has decided to expand the programme pan-India.

Currently, Plan International - one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world - runs a Missing Child Alert project in Bangladesh, India and Nepal with participation from Pakistan.

"From all the initiatives that have been going on, we have seen that children are becoming more employable and as they are source of cheaper labour, organ transplantations etc., this has fuelled the problem," said Chophel.

"More effective enforcement of law is needed...and accountability of children as state subjects should increase. Galvanising the children to hear their side of the story is necessary," he added.

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