Goldman Act bolsters fight for return of abducted children


August 5, 2014

Source: The Hub

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Capt. Paul Toland (from left), whose daughter was kidnapped in Japan; Bindu Philips, of Plainsboro, whose two sons were abducted to India; and David Goldman, whose son was abducted to Brazil and returned after a five-year ordeal, joined Rep. Chris Smith in calling for passage of the Goldman Act to help families who have been victimized by international abductions.

A bill empowering the U.S. State Department to aggressively pursue the return of internationally abducted children is headed to the president’s desk after being approved by Congress.

The Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act, the fourth bill of its kind introduced by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4), was drafted after Smith became involved with David Goldman’s fight to be reunited with his son, Sean.

According to Jeff Sagnip, the congressman’s press secretary, Goldman’s wife absconded with Sean from the family’s Tinton Falls home in June 2004, bringing him to Brazil when he was 4 years old without seeking custody of Sean or legally divorcing Goldman in a U.S. court.

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She subsequently died in childbirth, Sagnip said, and the Brazilian government held that her partner at the time of her death should maintain custody of Sean.

Brazil is a signatory of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, but chose to ignore the policies outlined by the international agreement, Sagnip said.

“Previously, the State Department would say ‘… There’s nothing that we can do,” Sagnip said. “[For a parent] trying to get a foreign court to award custody, it’s very difficult and returns are rare.”

The Sean and David Goldman Act (H.R. 3212) would allow U.S. embassies to apply pressure in incremental phases to dissuade governments from ignoring international law and sheltering abductors.

“[This bill] provides a series of tools which vary in their severity, from mild to strong,” Sagnip said. “The State Department is able to start with a little pressure and then build the pressure [on foreign governments refusing to return abducted American children to their homes.]”

Those tools include a private diplomatic protest called a demarche, a public condemnation of the foreign government, the withholding of economic aid and, eventually, demands for the extradition of the abductor.

Goldman, who was reunited with his son after five years of heavy investment both financial and emotional, said the passage of the bill provides hope for parents facing the same struggle he did.

“It was a long road, nearly five years, thanks to a tremendous effort of Congressman Smith and his staff,” Goldman said. “It was a great thing to do. It was the right thing to do. It’s another step closer to reuniting families. Next step: the White House.”

For victims of international child abduction and their parents, Smith said the Sean and David Goldman Act represents a shift in U.S. policy that will benefit separated family members.

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“Many children and parents have tragically lost years separated from each other in violation of U.S. and international law,” Smith said. “They have missed birthdays, holidays, and family time that they can never get back. H.R. 3212 ensures that they will now receive significant help from the U.S. government in their fight to recover their children.”

According to Sagnip, the bill allows the State Department to use the leverage already at its disposal in international abduction cases — leverage that is invaluable to an individual parent who only has so many resources to expend.

“How can a parent in Rutherford, New Jersey … fight a battle that’s halfway across the world? How do they pay for it?” Sagnip said. “It’s a tremendous expense, it’s a tremendous undertaking, and this [bill] puts the State Department in their corner.”

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Parental Child Abduction – International Child Recovery Services


ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

The goal of ABP World Group international child recovery services is to locate, negotiate and recover your missing child. We can dispatch personnel to most locations in the world; we specialize in locating missing children up to ages 18. Areas of expertise: Parental abduction, Missing children, Kidnappings, Runaway children and Counseling.

Unfortunately in this day and time parental kidnapping happens and we are here to help you trough this difficult period. We are aware parental child abduction can be difficult to resolve, but we use professional operatives with the skills and expertise to help find a resolution.

We also provide:

• Executive protection
• Close protection high or low profile
• Surveillance
• Investigation
• Security consulting
• Medical services
• Anti kidnap logistics and planning
• Abducted and missing children recovery
• Missing person investigations
• Panic room / Safe room construction
• Risk Management

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MALAYSIA Minister backs IGP’s decision to ignore Seremban child abduction


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KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi defended today the police’s decision to ignore the alleged abduction of a boy by his Muslim convert father in Seremban, saying it was the Home Ministry’s “official stand” not to intervene.

“What has been mentioned by the IGP… that is the official stand by KDN,” he said at a press conference after speaking at the Putrajaya Forum 2014 here, referring to his ministry by its Malay initials.

Ahmad Zahid was asked to comment on criticisms against Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who had last week said the police would not act on an abduction complaint against Izwan Abdullah because the latter was granted custody rights over his child by the Shariah Court.

Izwan, a Muslim convert previously known as N. Viran, had reportedly made off with his six-year-old son last Wednesday, two days after the Seremban High Court granted full custody of the boy and his nine-year-old sister to his estranged Hindu wife.

The court had awarded custody to S. Deepa, 30, as her marriage to Izwan, 31, in 2004 was a civil union and did not come under shariah law.

Despite a 2009 Cabinet prohibition of unilateral child conversions, Izwan made both his children embrace Islam last year, and later used their conversions as grounds to seek their custody in the Shariah Court.

It is understood that Izwan, a former lorry driver who currently works for an Islamic NGO called Yayasan Kasih Sayang, had converted both their children in April last year without Deepa’s consent.

Deepa, who filed for divorce and custody of the children in December last year, has been estranged from her husband since 2011.

The case is another in a series of inter-faith custody battles that highlight the complexities of Malaysia’s parallel civil and Shariah legal systems.

Legal experts have insisted that despite the conflicting decisions by the civil and shariah courts, the police’s refusal to act against Izwan’s alleged abduction of his son would only encourage more such cases in the future.

Source: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/minister-backs-igps-decision-to-ignore-seremban-child-abduction

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Parental Child Abduction – Every other day a child is abducted in any of the Nordic countries.


March 11 , 2014

ABP World Group Child Recovery Services

Every other day a child is abducted in any of the Nordic countries. We read about it in the newspapers,
on social media and all too often the criticism of our government agencies is hard.

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Frequently the authorities takes a position of a “guarding species”, referring to the police,  prosecutor and international agreements such as  the Hague Convention. If the country, to which the child has been abducted, has signed international agreements there is at least a chance to get the child back, but at a considerable cost.

Significant sums are spent on attorneys’ fees , travels and time. It’s not uncommon that two or three years goes by before you get a result which unfortunately, after all this time, can go in either way.

If there is no signed agreements with the country to which the child has been abducted, the probability of bringing  the child back home with the authorities’ help is nonexistent.

In these cases there are private operators who specializes in assisting the parent, who by court has been awarded custody and from whom the child has been abducted, in actively helping him/her to find a solution. It means that they for example can step in and mediate, coerce or simply locate the child and actively assist the parent in a retraction. What you must always try to achieve is to have the rightful parent physically present in such an action.

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In all cases when it needs to go to this level, preparation and groundwork is extremely important.

The risk of  an intervention to get violent is not an option, all actions must be carried out in a safe and secure manner.

We at ABP World Group is one of several companies in the industry offering such services and with more than 10 years of experience we are the first to lament that there is a market for this. What we can do is to offer an active solution to a problem that unfortunately has a potential to be lifelong.

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Worldwide 24/7 Emergency Number: +47 40466526

Missing Mother, Daughter Found in Virginia; Mother Charged with Parental Child Abduction


February 20, 2014

Source: daggerpress.com

Harford County Sheriff’s detectives have now located the mother and 5 year-old daughter, the subject of an earlier news release, who left their home together on or about January 10, 2014 without telling anyone where they were going causing family members to report the disappearance to police describing the mother’s behavior as “out of character”.

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Amanda Deeann Mitchell, 29, of the 2900 block of Siwanoy Drive in Edgewood, was taken into custody without incident by the Fairfax County (VA) Police Department who advised Harford County Sheriff’s detectives they had also located the child at a local elementary school. Sanaa Bailey, 5, was evaluated and found to be in good health. There were no signs of abuse or neglect. The child will be returned to her biological father. Mitchell has been charged with one count of parental child abduction. She is currently incarcerated in Fairfax County pending an extradition hearing.

Detectives say Mitchell failed to drop the child off for scheduled visitation with the father on January 17th. Family members told police that Amanda has been known to stay in homeless shelters from time to time but her failure to allow visitation with the child’s biological father was atypical behavior. Mitchell has shared custody with the child’s father, Aaron Chester Bailey of Baltimore.

Sheriff’s Detective Tom Walsh said, “She [Amanda] had left the family home with the bare essentials and had taken the child with her”. He further explained that while police fully understood she is a custodial parent, her behavior was out of the norm for how people described her. Walsh would not go into detail as to how Fairfax County PD came to locate Mitchell suffice it to say detectives ran down numerous leads and shared information about Mitchell throughout the region.

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Clear, fair rules needed for international divorces


February 11, 2014

Source: Asahi.com

Globalization does not always bring about happy endings.

When an internationally married couple is going through a contentious divorce, in which country’s court of law should the dispute be resolved?

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Currently, there is no clear rule on this matter. All the courts can do is to decide the jurisdiction depending on the case. This situation has long caused huge headaches for those involved.

Belatedly, Japan’s Justice Ministry has asked its advisory body, the Legislative Council, to come up with proposals on the issue. We hope the council will swiftly put together a set of easy-to-understand rules.

According to a survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, there were 16,000 divorces in Japan in 2012 involving a non-Japanese spouse. This is twice the figure of 20 years ago, and accounts for 7 percent of all divorces.

In the case of international divorces, the question of which country to seek legal recourse in is an important matter. Going through the legal process in a country with a foreign language and a foreign legal system is grueling work.

Even if the plaintiff is Japanese, there is no guarantee that the arbitration or trial can be held in Japan if the spouse resides in a foreign country. This is because consideration should be given to the spouse who would be the defendant in the case.

In Japan’s current legal system, the tentative basic rule is that court proceedings should be undertaken in the country of the defending spouse’s residence. There have been exceptions, however, when the defending foreign spouse is missing, for example. Japanese courts deal with such cases even if the defendant does not reside in Japan.

In some previous cases when the defendant was not in Japan, Japanese courts went ahead with legal proceedings on the grounds that the divorce approved by a court in the spouse’s country was invalid in Japan.

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The individual situations of each divorce are so varied that setting uniform standards is a difficult process. This has long been considered an international conundrum since countries and cultures have different acceptance levels when it comes to divorce.

Unlike in Japan, where many couples divorce by agreement, divorce by trial is the usual procedure in a number of countries. Some countries basically do not allow divorce.

Given these factors, it would be inappropriate to create a system based only on Japan’s situation. A broad international perspective is necessary.

In recent years, parts of the European Union have attempted to establish common rules about jurisdiction of divorce court proceedings. Under these proposals, initial jurisdiction would be in the hands of the couple’s current country of residence, second jurisdiction would be in the country where the couple most recently lived together, and so on.

We need deeper discourse to decide what rules are appropriate for Japan. We would also have to contemplate sharing those rules with some countries.

The important thing is to establish standards that are as comprehensible and fair as possible to lighten the load of the parties involved and smooth their paths toward restarting their lives after divorce.

This is a cumbersome business, but the number of cross-border marriages and divorces will continue to grow. The endeavors of the legal system must not be left behind by changes in the real world.

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Prevent International Parental Child Abduction: Letter of Parental Authorization for Minors Traveling


January 30 , 2014

Source: gomexico

In order to prevent international child abductions, many countries require children who are traveling without their parents to present documentation that proves that the parents authorize the child to travel.

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In the past, it was an official requirement of the Mexican government that any child entering or exiting the country should carry a letter of permission from their parents, or of the absent parent in the case of a child traveling with only one parent.

In many cases the documentation was not asked for, but it could be requested by immigration officials.

Since January 2014, new regulations for children traveling to Mexico stipulate that foreign children who travel to Mexico as tourists or visitors for up to 180 days only need to present a valid passport, and are not required to present other documentation. However, Mexican children, including those holding dual citizenship with another country, or foreign children residing in Mexico who travel unaccompanied by either parent are required to show proof of their parents permission to travel. They must carry a letter from the parents authorizing travel into Mexico. The letter must be translated into Spanish and legalized by the Mexican embassy or consulate in the country where the document was issued. A letter is not required in the case of a child traveling with only one parent.

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Note that these are the requirements of the Mexican immigration authorities. Travelers must also meet the requirements of their home country for exit and return.

Here is an example of a letter of authorization for travel:

 (Date)

I (parent’s name), authorize my child/children, (child/children’s name) to travel to (destination) on (date of travel) aboard Airline/Flight # (flight information) with (accompanying adults), returning on (date of return).

Signed by parent or parents
Address:
Telephone/Contact:

Signature/Seal of Mexican embassy or consulate

The same letter in Spanish would read:

(Date)

Yo (parent’s name), autorizo a mi hijo/a (child’s name) a viajar a (destination) el (date of travel) en la aerolinea (flight information) con (name of accompanying adult), regresando el (date of return).

Firmado por los padres
Direccion:
Telefono:

(Signature / Seal of Mexican embassy) Sello de la embajada Mexicana

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LEPCA -Lawyers in Europe on Parental Child Abduction


January 21 , 2014

Source : LEPCA 

European conference 7-8-9-(10*) May 2014

The International Child Abduction Center in the Netherlands (Center IKO) is organising the first European conference for family lawyers who represent parents in international parental child abduction cases, called LEPCA.

The conference takes place on 8 & 9 May 2014 in the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands. Here you will find the program.

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Register now

Our partner in this project is Mediation bei internationalen Kindschaftskonflikten (MiKK) in Berlin, Germany. Associate Partner organisations are law firms in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, and Non-Governmental Organisations in Bulgaria, Poland and Romania. In addition, Center IKO has established a network of specialised law firms and NGO’s in many countries within the European Union.
The LEPCA Conference addresses on legal professionals who deal with the subject of international parental child abduction cases under the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention, the Brussels II bis Regulation and the 1996 Hague Child Protection Convention.

The objective of the project is to learn from best practices, exchange ideas and create a platform of specialised parental child abduction lawyers within Europe.

About LEPCA 

 

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1-800-847-2315 US Toll free Number
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ARREST MADE, CHILDREN RETURNED TO FATHER IN PARENTAL ABDUCTION CASE


January 8 , 2014

Source: carsonvalleytimes.com

by Sgt. Pat Brooks, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office

Minden, Nevada – The ongoing investigation of a parental abduction of two children, missing since November 21, 2013 has concluded with the arrest of Kathryn Ann Moore and the safe recovery of the two children Patricia Read and William Moore.

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The arrest of Moore was made possible by a joint investigation between the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshals Offices in Reno, NV, and the states of Oklahoma and Washington.

Sheriff Ron Pierini wants to express that he has set a priority for missing children cases and wants to extend his gratitude to the Investigation Division for the dedication to follow leads and utilize assets in the location of the children.

Investigator Chrzanowski would like to thank the US Marshals Office for providing personnel to assist in following up leads outside the state of Nevada…thank you.

Moore was located in a family member’s home in Colville, Washington. No injuries were reported. Moore is pending extradition from the State of Washington.  The children will be released to the father, by the US Marshals.

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This was the initial report from last month:

inden, Nevada – Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a parental abduction of two children, missing since November 21, 2013.

According to reports, Kathryn Ann Moore (44 years old from Wellington, NV) was scheduled to appear in District Court for the scheduled child exchange of 5 year old Patricia Brite Read and 2 year old William Jesse Moore, to their father Richard Read (Gardnerville, NV), who has joint custody of the children. Kathryn did not appear in court for this exchange. Attempts to contact Kathryn have been unsuccessful and a recent visit to her home has indicated that she has left with the children.

On December 11, 2013, a nationwide felony warrant of arrest for Child Concealment has been issued for Kathryn Moore and the children have been entered into National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database as missing.

Kathryn is believed to be driving a full size blue 1985 Chevrolet van bearing Nevada plates 270YRY.

Kathryn has family in Tomball Texas, Tuolumne California, La Pine Oregon, St. Helens Oregon, Portland Oregon, Vancouver Washington, Longview Washington and Concord North Carolina.

It is believed the children are not in danger at this time, therefore this does not meet the requirements of an Amber Alert. Information on the children has been provided to The Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Anyone who has information as to the location of Kathryn Moore and/or the children is asked to contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.

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1-800-847-2315 US Toll free Number
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Worldwide International Number: +31-208112223

Worldwide 24/7 Emergency Number: +31-208112223