By the 2 November 2020, a total of 15,398 alerts had been issued in Hungary due to children disappearing. However, this does not mean 15,000 disappearances, as the statistics show the number of alerts, so if a child escapes 100 times a year – because there was an example of that -, they issue an alert 100 times. Penzcentrum requested official data from the ORFK (Hungarian Police Headquarter) about the number of minors disappearing, the most common causes of disappearance, and the rates of turning up, which were analysed in more detail by Orsolya Táler, the managing director of the Blue-Line Children’s Crisis Foundation.
According to Portfolio, until the 2 November 2020, 1,567 cases of disappearance have been ordered in Hungary for young people aged 0-14. That number was 13,831 among 14-18-year-olds, Penzcentrum learned from the ORFK. In total, this means that by the 2 November 2020,
15,398 alerts have been issued for minors.
This number was 16,885 in 2014, compared to 19,279 in the most prominent year of the last 6 years, in 2015. All this means that if the 2020 trend continues for the last two months of the year, the best result of the last six years can be achieved, regarding the disappearance of minors, while data on juveniles will be largely stagnant.
Penzcentrum analysed the data with the help of Orsolya Táler, the managing director of the Blue-Line Children’s Crisis Foundation. The expert said that the vast majority of alerts for minors – we can talk about a proportion above 88 per cent – means disappearing from Child Protection Specialised Care in Hungary. In the article, the expert also discusses what the reason for the escapes from children’s homes and apartment homes may be, why the system is helpless, and what the alert list data is really about.
It is important to note that the number of recorded alerts is not the same as the number of disappearances.
In the case of minors, the high number of alerts is typically due to the number of minors who have left the place of care without permission and do not return there at the prescribed time, are placed in temporary care and placed in foster care – emphasised the ORFK’s interpretation of the statistics, adding that “in these cases, we cannot speak of disappearances in the traditional sense of the word because in most cases, the minor’s place of residence is generally known.
It happened that a minor left their place of care without permission several times a year. The reason is most often a conflict situation between parents or between a parent and a child, or a custody battle. Regarding the disappearances, the ORFK also said that according to the statistics, the chances of turning up are very high. About 95% of cases are resolved within a month.
Source: portfolio.hu, penzcentrum.hu