Over the past two years, government officials and experts have seen an increasing number of children leave home and take to the streets, including many children under 13, the New York Times reports.
- Rising food and fuel prices
- Less affordable housing
Estimates put the annual number of juveniles who run away or are thrown out of their homes at 1.6 million. Most of those return within a week. The government doesn’t really conduct a comprehensive count of this number, so expert estimates are all we have.
In the follow-up story, the New York Times reports that many of these children who run away from or are thrown out of their homes end up having sex with strangers, at first for food, a place to stay, or just to stay alive. But later, it turns into prostitution and the children literally disappear.