AT LEAST 1200 children go missing in South Africa every year. Luckily, 90percent of them are found in the first week.
Since 1994, 900 of the children reported to have gone missing have not been found.
Judy Botes of missingchildren.org, an organisation that deals with missing children, said yesterday: "The number is high and fluctuates since more go missing and others are found."
When a child is abducted Botes' organisation gets support from the community and they search for the child.
International statistics show that the first 72 hours is the most important period after a child has been reported missing.
The period applies to children who have been abducted for sexual or murder motives.
Botes said parents should not wait 24 hours before reporting disappearances.
"It is important to report the missing child immediately," she said
Botes said parents had to take safety measures to make sure that their children were not abducted. Parents must know their children's whereabouts at all times.
She said that they must teach their children never to accept lifts, gifts and money from someone they do not know. - Staff Reporter