USA: Press Releases: International Parental Child Abduction

Press Statement

John Kirby
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs

Washington, DC

January 5, 2017

As 2017 begins, we reinvigorate our focus on the prevention and return of children who were abducted by a parent and removed from their habitual residence. We made great strides in 2016 to prevent international parental child abduction and to resolve these tragic cases by applying the tools provided under the Hague Abduction Convention. We welcomed Bolivia and the Philippines as new parties to the Convention, and officially partnered with Thailand under the framework.

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Too many cases, however, remain unresolved with countries that are not meeting their treaty obligations or have not yet joined the Convention.

We are specifically concerned with unacceptably long judicial delays in Brazil. There are 14 abduction cases that have been pending with the Brazilian judiciary for more than a year. We also note the lack of responsiveness from Bahamian authorities with regard to open Convention cases. While we continue to engage bilaterally at every opportunity, it is our obligation to publicly highlight these concerns and seek full compliance with the Convention.

We encourage all countries that have not joined the Convention to do so. India has a substantial number of cases that have remained unresolved for years with no established process for resolution. In Tunisia, we continue to observe serious enforcement issues that delay the swift return of abducted children to the United States. When countries become parties to the Convention, they commit to a framework that places a premium on the swift resolution of cases.

The United States will continue to urge nations to join the Convention and to ensure that member states meet their Convention responsibilities.

0c84862c-33bf-4568-bac7-9eac3e9f6e3dTo report a case of international child abduction or learn how to prevent it, visit

For press inquiries, please contact or (202) 485-6150.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

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