Minister of State for Population Hala Youssef held Tuesday an urgent meeting with Ministry of Interior representatives to discuss the increasing numbers of child kidnappings.
The phenomenon has seen a worrying rise in the past two months with almost daily reports on social media of kidnapped children, kidnapping attempts, or street beggars abusing children.
Youssef instructed staff at the children aid hotline to help people who report such cases to submit kidnapping or disappearance reports at the nearest police station, according to state media.
The minister also asserted the need to contact the social media pages dedicated to the issue and cooperate with them to counter the issue.
Minister of Interior’s Assistant Mahmoud Farouk, however, said the numbers of children kidnappings reported on social media are not accurate, and are a mix of reports on criminal kidnapping, escaped children, disappearances without criminal acts and in-family kidnappings.
Reports from independent initiatives to help counter the issue suggest there were approximately 300 reports of child kidnappings in 2015, with 50 of these cases proven to be criminal kidnappings.