How to prevent child abduction

Photo: Stockimage

A child goes missing every five hours in South Africa.

“Human trafficking is rising at an alarming rate, but it is just one of the reasons children are kidnapped,” said 1st for Women insurance spokesperson Casey Rousseau.

“Children are also often taken by members of their own family. Either way, the risk of kidnapping should not be taken lightly by any parent, anywhere.”

South Africa observed International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Monday.

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Rousseau said the more informed parents and children were, the better their chances of identifying kidnappers and preventing the unthinkable from happening.

She said it was important however, not to instil fear in the process of educating children.

1st for Women offered the following tips on what kids should know and look out for:

– Make sure your children know their own address, home phone number and your cellphone number.

– Gifts from strangers are not usually gifts at all – if someone offers them something, they should check with you first before taking it or preferably not take it at all.

– Keep their friends close – children should always take a friend with them if they are going out, especially to a place they haven’t been before.

– Kids don’t get job offers – if someone offers them a job or asks for their assistance with something, they should turn them down and tell you about it immediately.

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– They can trust you – if something happens that makes them feel uncomfortable, confused or frightened, they can share it with you.

– You’re not spying on them – checking up on who they are speaking to online is not an invasion of their privacy but a way for you to help keep them safe.

– Speed and noise are key – if someone follows them or tries to force them into a car, they should run and scream.

– Have a plan of action – talk about what they should do and where they should meet you if they are lost in a public area.

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Robinson Nqola

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