Majority of those missing in the age group of 12-18 in the national capital are girls and most of them are forced into commercial sex work or employed as domestic helps, according to a survey.
The survey, jointly conducted by child rights organisation CRY and human rights group APR, said 3,715 girls were reported missing last year against 2,493 boys in the age group.
It said the local police often cite "elopement for marriage" as the reason for girls going missing, but the feedback received from the rescued girls have led to a different conclusion.
"Teenage girls are kidnapped and forced into commercial sex work, married or employed as domestic helps and others," said the survey.
"There is a small percentage of girls who elope. However, police cite this reason to brush off their responsibility," Jaya Singh of CRY said.
Due to preference for male child, more boys in the age group of 0-8 go missing as compared to girls. 453 boys were reported missing last year against 352 girls in the age band, the survey said.
"Children in this age group are mostly kidnapped for the purpose of illegal adoption," Singh said.
Outer Delhi district reported the maximum number of missing cases. Last year for instance, 1,583 children went missing from the region as compared to 784 in southwest Delhi, 672 in West Delhi and 428 in North Delhi.
"A large number of missing children is from areas that are inhabited by lower middle-class population. Children from these areas are more vulnerable and become targets of kidnappers," the survey said.