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15 November 2011, 17:12
The Children's Society say more needs to be done to protect children that run away from home. They are deeply concerned about the 1800 children in Hertfordshire run away every year.
They conducted a national survey which shows 1 in 5 runaways resort to begging, stealing and "other things" to survive.
They are now calling for the government and other professionals to put this issue at the top of their priorities list and create a national safety net for child runaways.
Enver Solomon is the director of policy and public affairs at the Children's Society. He says technology like the Internet is putting runaways in even more dangerous situations:
"Technology is playing a role so they might be meeting people online and starting to have some kind of a relationship with them online and then starting to meet them away from home. That is often a relationship that leads to sexual exploitation"
The national figures and statistics collected by the Children's Society in a report called ‘Still Running 3’ show that in the last twelve years the number of children running away has remained very much the same.
One of the most common reasons that children run away is when there has been family change or conflict. The Children's Society thinks they need to be better protected to stop them from turning to alcohol, drugs or adults who groom them.