A DISTURBING trend in the welfare of children has emerged from the general household survey conducted by Statistics South Africa.
Child Welfare South Africa blames the trend on the government, parents and moral degeneration.
The survey revealed that the number of children between the ages of 5 and 17 whose whereabouts are unknown to parents or immediate family doubled in the past six years from 4,5percent in 2002 to 8,4percent in 2008.
KwaZulu-Natal is the only province that recorded a decrease in the number of missing children. Missing children in Western Cape and Gauteng doubled.
Figures released by the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in May indicate that about 1700 children a year are reported missing in South Africa and 1380 are still on the Bureau for Missing Persons database.
Child Welfare social worker Thelma Mathee said that if parents die children are often left with no choice but to leave their homes to fend for themselves.