The Office For National Statistics says there has been 6,690 child abductions’ since 2003. Shocking? Worrying? Surprised?
Many of you may meagrely question why you’ve only heard about Madeleine McCann, the young girl that went missing in 2007, and stormed through international media outlets. You may have more recently heard on Alice Gross, maybe even April Jones if you’ve done a little digging.
You may have not heard of Sabbir Hussein – missing since last October; Manh Hoang, Nikita Bhatoa, Ahmed Issa, Tariq Monteiro, and the list flows furiously on. The enquiry into why the other children aren’t assisted by the media compared to the ones are, becomes a difficult issue as addressing the elephant in the room suddenly becomes emotional. Does addressing the neglect of the averaging 550 abducted children a year somehow send distaste to those who weren’t neglected? Does the light shone on the nameless children somehow attack those in light of Alice Gross? No, I unequivocally detest the sentiment. I offer instead, the notion that every child, has a right to safety, once the right has been stolen, then it is our duty as society and State to bring this to the attention of one another and return the child to parental guardianship.
However, once we tip the balance, from the thousands, to the minute few; we present the problem of favouritism, nepotism, neglect and one must question why. Relieve yourself henceforth from emotional attachment to any alleged child abduction story, as if you won’t, the only effect this article will give you is intense aggravation.
Why are the likes of Alice and Madeleine so intensely publicised but others aren’t? What differences do they have that make news outlets to focus on the one in such a concentrated sense, while voluntarily disregarded the other. Well, to answer this we shall compare. After all, the media only feed us what we reflect towards them; most news outlets have the sole purpose of selling stories, be the outlier BBC which is a grey area in itself. This in-turn translates to the reflection of public opinion, the newspapers sell what will sell if you pardon the Irishism. This is shown intensely from the reaction and public sway and sympathy towards both Alice and Madeleine. If we look at Madeleine; seven years of public support, media coverage and government intervention. Alice also, with vast resources being weighed in to uncover the mystery. I question the amount spent on both these girls, if spread over the remaining thousands of other young children’s cases maybe hundreds of cases wouldn’t be closed unresolved. I am not for one moment undermining or disregarding the case of Madeleine and Alice, instead offering an alternative for greater sympathy with the thousands of other parents that haven’t had the platform to address themselves.
Maybe we see Alice, a young and innocent white British girl, on her way to her friends, and Madeleine correspondingly similar albeit younger and different contextually… And we sympathise religiously. We feel our innate emotions drive towards reading on it, caring, contributing in any way. When we see the child isn’t an innocent young white girl, our attentions aren’t as moved. This is not my opinion, rather on myself or society; this is what I, and many others take from the newspapers readiness to alert us on certain alleged abductions, but mute on others.
In the end, I believe we all wish to see the thousands stolen from the grip of their mothers and fathers returned safely. I also believe we wish to see their abductors brought to justice, and shown the harshest possible sentence for a crime, truly against humanity.