According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia 2018, there were almost 6,500 underage children missing in 2018
. This includes 2,300 young children under the age of 14. 4,000 of these children left home without permission and 2,100 children left child care.
The Investigative Committee, however, reports a much higher figure – 13,600 children missing in 2018. Why is there such a large difference? According to the Committee, it is because of how the number is calculated. Regardless, the real figure is likely to be higher
because many missing cases may not be reported.
As of 2018-2019, more people are disappearing in big cities. The fastest-growing category is teenagers leaving their families or running away from school, as well as children under 11 who disappear in summer in nature. According to the voluntary search organization Lisa Alert, around 80-90% of missing children are found. 80% are found alive.
Approximately 10% of the total number of missing children is associated with crimes and violence against minors or accidents. At the same time, the results of a study by Novaya Gazeta showed that 80% of crimes against children are committed by relatives or people close to the family.
Quite often a child’s disappearance is linked to family kidnapping – when a child is deliberately abducted by one of the parents after the divorce or separation. According to the public movement STOP Kidnapping, in 2018 there were 500 registered complaints from parents suffering from family kidnapping
. The figures listed above may not reflect the situation accurately enough due to the fact that abduction in intact families is not considered a crime, and many cases remain underreported.