Statistics from international child abduction charity suggest that international child abductions within the family have increased by 87% since 1995. The reasons for this may be many, but it is believed that a variety of factors have made international travel and residence much easier for most people. Reasons for this increase likely include:
- A rise in the number of parents who break up with each other, including through divorce.
- A rise in the number of people marrying foreign nationals (meaning that these partners will become parents with origins and possibly residences in other countries).
- Cheaper international travel options, which allows more parents to purchase passage for themselves and their children to other countries.
- Greater familiarity with immigration laws, which means that more people are aware of where and how they can work in other countries, particularly those in the European Union.
How Can Parents Guard their Children Against an International Abduction?
There are many things that a guardian parent can do to prevent their ex-partner from taking their children across international boundaries. Guardian parents can:
- Obtain a court order as to the custody or residence of their children. If the child ordinarily resides in a specific country or was abducted from that country, a court order is necessary for it to be considered an abduction.
- Prevent passports from being issued for their children. You will likely need an order of the court as well as this request in writing.
- Tell the police of your suspicions.
- Request a Port Warning or Port Alert in urgent/imminent circumstances. Only the police are able to issue such an alert, and only when there is good reason to believe that the child may be taken out of the country.
- Contact a solicitor to discuss their personal situation and transmit this information to the partner they believe may be thinking of abducting their children.
Child abduction within the family is a crime much like any other type of child abduction. If you fear that your child may be abducted by another family member, take necessary precautions to keep him/her safe, and if the worst does happen report the abduction immediately. Don’t hesitate, or you may regret the wait later.
Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service
Visit our web site at: www.abpworld.com