26 Aug 2010

Large number of children going missing in PNG

2:15 pm on 26 August 2010

The co-ordinator of a Papua New Guinea programme set up to address problems of family and sexual violence says large numbers of children are going missing every year.

Ume Wainetti of the Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee says because of the difficulty in collecting data in PNG there're no exact figures.

But she says her organisation's aware of many children vanishing without trace, possibly to be sold to childless couples or into prostitution.

"We have an understanding also from Asia Pacific conferences on children that we have attended, we have been told that because of the crackdown on people like this in the Asia region, they're coming to the Pacific and definitely our ignorance on this issue would be taken advantage of."

Ume Wainetti says the Family and Sexual Violence Committee's two priorities are raising awareness of the problem and developing a service for any children who are recovered.