COVID-19 Resources
Child Running Away

There are many reason that children runaway from their homes or from their caregivers. It could be to find work, escape ill treatment at home or simply follow the lights of the city with its promises of a better life. Girls are as likely as boys to run away from homes due to parental neglect or dysfunctional families. Many of them land on the country’s railway platforms, where they beg, steal or do menial jobs, such as sweeping trains, to survive. Very often, they fall victim to child traffickers or become vulnerable to other forms of exploitation.



Q: What do you do when your kid runs away?

A: To help rescue children who have runaway call CHILDLINE on 1098 or report to the nearest Child Help Desk. Currently, Child Help Desks are operational at 144 railway stations and 9 bus terminals across the country.

Q:Can you get in trouble for hiding a runaway child?

A: Yes, It is illegal to keep vulnerable children at home on the pretext of helping them.

Q:What causes children to runaway from home?

A: Several reasons compel children to runaway from home. Some of them include, unhealthy family atmosphere, conflict with law, substance abuse, city attraction etc.

Case Study

Child Run Away Cases

CHILDLINE team received a call that the Railway Protection Force (RPF) had found an unattended child on the railway station. The team immediately reached the RPF office to meet the child. This 9-year old boy was not willingly providing any information. A CHILDLINE team member tried to get the child to open up and even offered him food. But even two hours later the child proved very reluctant to share any information. The efforts continued with the RPF officer joining in. After some friendly talk, the child finally shared his home address and expressed his wish to return home. CHILDLINE team member along with the RPF handed over the child to his parents. On reaching the child’s home, they found his distraught mother weeping and other family members still searching. After a brief interaction, the mother informed the CHILDLINE team member and the RPF that the child had runaway twice before. The child was returned to the mother after verification of documents by the RPF. The CHILDLINE team member informed the mother to take the child for counselling sessions. After weeks of follow up, the child was found to be responding positively to the sessions and regularly going to school.

(*Name and details changed to protect the child)