A Mirror Foundation report says that more than 250 young people went missing last year, 25% higher than the number in 2021. This was the most in the last four years.
Pol Maj Gen Saruti Khwaengsopha, commander of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD), revealed the report on Thursday during a missing people media briefing.
The report said that 157 of them were middle school students whose friends or sexual desires led them to do it. Some left because of problems with their families. Most of the cases the foundation got were about women who had been sexually abused or who had joined a trafficking ring.
The foundation received 70 reports from Bangkok, which accounted for the majority of missing persons cases. Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan (both with 17 cases), Pathum Thani (16), Chon Buri, and Nakorn Pathom also reported cases (both 9). According to the report, 61% of the missing voluntarily fled their homes, while 21% had mental health issues or disabilities. Only two kidnappings occurred last year.
The foundation struggles to locate lost people. However, GPS wristbands can locate missing loved ones. On average, we hear approximately 200 missing people every year. After pandemic rules were relaxed, the number peaked last month. Missing people under 18 are resketched every two years and over 19 every five years. Pol Maj Gen Saruti stated missing children are a serious issue and that parents should record information about their children. He advised parents to call 1191 immediately if they think a youngster is missing.