Just seven people help lost kid in town centre during social experiment

Just seven people help lost kid in town centre during social experiment

A social experiment in Australia revealed just how little people care about children, when just seven people offered to help.

Six-year-old Adien was left for 45 minutes in a busy shopping area, clearly without adult supervision. It was done in a bid to see how many adults would give up their time to help a child who was clearly lost and distressed.

Unfortunately, instead of being a "people are good at heart" story, what happened next makes for extremely grim reading.

This is how the public reacted to the lost six-year-old: 

It reflected particularly badly on men too. Of the seven people who stopped to see if the boy was okay, six of them were women.

In an interview with The Today Show on Australia's 9 News, Adien's mom said: "I was actually really concerned and shocked at how many people didn't [stop]."

A woman helping a lost child. Credit: 9 News / Screenshot

One of the people who stopped was a mother with her young daughter, she asked if she should help Adien get to a police station. When he said "no", she replied: "Are you sure? Look I'm a mummy too, your mummy and daddy will be very worried about you."

Luckily, for Adien, his parents were standing just yards away.

Afterward, she was told that Adien had been part of a social experiment to see how many strangers would stop to help a distressed and lost child. The woman said: "If my child was lost, I'd hope that someone would help them."

A lost child. Credit: 9 News/ Screenshot

Brainchild of the children's agency, Key Assets, the experiment was designed to show how vulnerable young people can be in society.

Rob Ryan, the CEO of Key Assets, said: "I think we're so busy in our lives today that children are often not seen and they're not heard, so it's everyone's responsibility to protect children."

"Not a lot of men stop. So it's important that men, if they're worried about stopping for children or young people to help them, find somebody who's nearby and say, 'hey, do you want to come and help me with this young person?'"