Website to reconnect missing persons
Updated: 2016-01-07 08:27
By Luo Wangshu(China Daily)
A shelter employee escorts an 11-year-old child who started roaming the streets at age 8 back to his hometown of Yancheng, Jiangsu province, in December. Provided to China Daily
The Ministry of Civil Affairs has launched a website to help long-term missing persons return home.
The website was launched on Jan 1, and as of Wednesday nearly 1,500 missing people's profiles had been posted.
"Some missing persons have stayed in shelters for a long time and there is no clue to finding their families. The website aims mainly to help this group," said Wang Jinhua, director of the Social Affairs Department of the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The website, xunqin.mca.gov.cn, collects missing persons' personal information, including name, photo, gender, description, the time and location they went missing, and contact information.
In the past, shelters mainly published a missing person's information on local media for a limited time. If the missing person was not a local resident, families from outside the region may not have been able to see the information.
According to Wang, despite the Internet, most missing persons are still located in a traditional way - cooperation between shelters and police.
"Eighty percent of missing persons stuck at shelters are mentally ill, or too young or too old to be able to give information about their families. There is little information for shelter employees to find their families. Employees gather missing persons' information from observation and limited conversation, sometimes from a missing person's accent," Wang added.
One profile, for example, is of an unnamed 14-year-old boy, 130 cm tall and slim with dark hair. He was found in Jubaozhuang township in Fengzhen, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on May 25. A memo attached to the photo by social workers said he is mentally ill and not able to provide a home address.
The website has a page for missing children and adults.
From 2003 to September 2015, 24.3 million missing people were sent to shelters.
China has nearly 2,000 shelters for missing people, and about 55,000 are stuck there, said Ni Hongxia with the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
"The next move is to input all long-term missing persons' information on the website," Ni said.
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