International Parental Child Abduction – Child Recovery Services


May 6, 2013

Watch our new video about International Parental Child Abduction and Child Recovery Services

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMo8e1UcNRM

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ABP World Group Risk Management – Child recovery

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Europol identifies 3600 Organised Crime Groups active in the European Union (SOCTA 2013 Report)


April 6, 2013

Source: Europol

In the most detailed study ever undertaken of its kind in the European law enforcement community Europol has identified an estimated 3,600 organised crime groups currently active in the EU. The EU Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA), published by Europol today, found that international drug trafficking remains the most active organised crime activity but it also identified the emergence of new criminal phenomena, many linked to the current economic crisis and the internet.  These new developments are changing the nature of organised crime towards a model based around a networked community of heterogeneous, international groups.

europol

“A new breed of organised crime groups is emerging in Europe, capable of operating in multiple countries and criminal sectors. These groups are no longer defined by their nationality or specialisation in one area of crime but by an ability to operate on an international basis, with a business-like focus on maximising profit and minimising risk. They are the epitome of our new globalised society,” says Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.

The 2013 Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) delivers a set of recommendations based on an in-depth analysis of the major crime threats facing the EU. The report draws on significant intelligence collected from law enforcement agencies in the EU Member States, other EU Agencies, and Europol’s own databases.  The Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers will use the report’s findings and recommendations to define priorities for the next four years.

Based on analysis of the prevailing threats the SOCTA 2013 has identified the crime areas which require the greatest concerted action by EU Member States and other actors to ensure the most effective impact on the general threat. These threats include crime areas that have recently gained significance or were not regarded as priority areas earlier, but now stand out against other crime threats because of their impact on society.  The priorities identified in the report are:

  • Facilitation of illegal immigration
  • Trafficking in human beings
  • Counterfeit goods with an impact on public health and safety
  • Missing Trader Intra Community (MTIC) fraud
  • Synthetic drugs production and poly-drug trafficking in the EU
  • Cybercrime
  • Money laundering

The conditions of the current economic crisis and resulting changes in consumer demand are fuelling a shift in serious criminal activity.  Reduced consumer spending power has inspired counterfeiters to expand into new product lines such as commodity counterfeiting, illicit trade in sub-standard goods and goods violating health and safety regulations. In addition to the traditional counterfeiting of luxury products, organised crime groups are now also counterfeiting daily consumer goods including foods and medical products. The increased production and distribution of these goods have significant implications for public health and safety.

Meanwhile other forms of economic crime, especially fraud, have grown in scale and impact.  Missing Trader Intra Community (MTIC) fraud, which derives from a manipulation of the VAT tax regime, is responsible for the loss of billions of Euros each year in the government revenues of Member States, illustrating the extent to which organised crime harms the economy.

Money seized by German customs agency Zoll during anti-money laundering operation is displayed before agency's annual statistics news conference in Berlin

“The fight against organised crime has big implications for the EU’s ability to secure an effective economic recovery.  Through a recent expansion of the ‘black market’ and notable developments in fraudulent activity criminal groups are denying governments, businesses, and citizens billions of Euros each year in lost tax receipts, profits, and private income.  Stronger action is needed in the EU to close down these criminal activities and protect our economic base,” says Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.

The internet is also a major driver of criminal activity, enabling organised crime groups to access a large pool of victims, obscure their activities and carry out a diverse range of criminal acts in a shorter period of time and on a much larger scale than ever before. The spread of the internet and technological advances have caused significant shifts in crime areas and the pattern of criminal activity.

The SOCTA 2013 report is Europol’s flagship product providing information to Europe’s law enforcement community and decision-makers about the threat of serious and organised crime to the EU. The report exists in two versions a restricted for law enforcement and a public version which is available in the Europol publications section of their website.

EU crime gangs find new ways to make money in bad times

 

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USA: Algerian man arrested for international parental kidnapping


December 6, 2012

Source: connectamarillo.com

AMARILLO, TEXAS — An Amarillo man was arrested by the FBI for international parental kidnapping, authorities announced Monday afternoon.

Djelti 05-07-12

35-year-old Badr Djelti, according to a court affidavit, allegedly kidnapped his 2-year-old child.

The court documents showed that Djelti, a legal citizen of Algeria, was legally living in the United States when he took his child to Algeria in December 2011. On January 13, 2012, authorities said Djelti returned to the U.S., but without his child.

He told his wife he left their child with his parents in Algeria, court documents showed.

Djelti, according to court documents, separated with his wife in August 2010, just two months after the birth of their child.

Following a court hearing on April 19, Djelti was ordered to make flight arrangements to Algeria within 48 hours so the child could be returned to the mother. In the order, authorities said the judge found that Djelti had a history of pattern of family violence.

Djelti asked his wife’s attorney for a time extension so he could finish his exams at Amarillo College, authorities said. He was to leave to Algeria on May 13 and return with the child on May 29.

According to the affidavit, Djelti’s wife heard one of his co-workers say that Djelti did not intend to return to the U.S. with the child. The criminal complaint also alleged that Djelti told customers he was not returning after going back to Algeria.

If convicted, Djelti faces a maximum statutory sentence of three years in prison along with a $250,000 fine. The case must be presented to the grand jury within 30 days, authorities said.

The FBI is conducting the investigation.

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Senate Resolution Condemning International Child Abduction


December 5, 2012

Source: internationalfamilylawfirm.com

The U.S. Senate has today passed a “Bipartisan Resolution Calls on Countries to Do More to Prevent and Resolve Cases of Children Abducted by Parents Across International Borders.”

us-senate

The Resolution should be useful when seeking to prevent potential abduction to Japan, India, and Egypt, since those countries are specifically “reprimanded.”

The Resolution also reinforces claims that international child abduction is a form of child abuse.

http://politicalnews.me/?id=19341&pg=2&keys=

Dec 05,2012 – Boxer Praises Senate Passage of Resolution Condemning International Parental Child Abduction

Bipartisan Resolution Calls on Countries to Do More to Prevent and Resolve Cases of Children Abducted by Parents Across International Borders

Washington, D.C. – Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) praised the passage of her bipartisan resolution condemning the international abduction of all children. The resolution garnered 28 cosponsors and passed the Senate by voice vote.

“I am so proud that today the Senate took a stand to condemn the tragic and devastating crime of child abduction,” Senator Boxer said. “This resolution is a resounding call to the international community to join together to prevent and resolve abduction cases.”

According to the U.S. Department of State, last year 1,367 American children were reported abducted by a parent from the United States to a foreign country.

The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is the principal tool for a parent seeking the return of a child abducted across international borders. The Convention provides a legal framework for securing the return of an abducted child so that judicial authorities can make decisions on issues of custody and the best interests of the child. However, many countries do not participate in the Hague Abduction Convention and the Convention does not apply to abductions that occur before a country joins.

The resolution calls on all countries to join and fully comply with the Hague Abduction Convention and to take other steps to prevent and resolve cases of international parental child abduction.

The full text of the resolution is below.

RESOLUTION

Whereas international parental child abduction is a tragic and common occurrence;

Whereas the abduction of a child by one parent is a heartbreaking loss for the left-behind parent and deprives the child of a relationship with 2 loving parents;

Whereas, according to the Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction of the United States Department of State from April 2010, research shows that abducted children are at risk of significant short- and long-term problems, including “anxiety, eating problems, nightmares, mood swings, sleep disturbances, [and] aggressive behavior”;

Whereas, according to that report, left-behind parents may also experience substantial psychological and emotional issues, including feelings of “betrayal, sadness over the loss of their children or the end of their marriage, anger toward the other parent, anxiety, sleeplessness, and severe depression”, as well as financial strain while fighting for the return of a child;

Whereas, since 1988, the United States, which has a treaty relationship under the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at The Hague October 25, 1980 (TIAS 11670) (referred to in this preamble as the “Hague Abduction Convention’’) with 69 other countries, has agreed with its treaty partners to follow the terms of the Hague Abduction Convention;

Whereas the Hague Abduction Convention provides a legal framework for securing the prompt return of wrongfully removed or retained children to the countries of their habitual residence where competent courts can make decisions on issues of custody and the best interests of the children;

Whereas, according to the United States Department of State, the number of new cases of international child abduction from the United States increased from 579 in 2006 to 941 in 2011;

Whereas, in 2011, those 941 cases involved 1,367 children who were reported abducted from the United States by a parent and taken to a foreign country;

Whereas, in 2011, more than 660 children who were abducted from the United States and taken to a foreign country were returned to the United States;

Whereas 7 of the top 10 countries to which children from the United States were most frequently abducted in 2011 are parties to the Hague Abduction Convention, including Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ecuador, Brazil, and Colombia;

Whereas Japan, India, and Egypt are not parties to the Hague Abduction Convention and were also among the top 10 countries to which children in the United States were most frequently abducted in 2011;

Whereas, in many countries, such as Japan and India, international parental child abduction is not considered a crime, and custody rulings made by courts in the United States are not typically recognized by courts in those countries; and

Whereas Japan is the only member of the Group of 7 major industrialized countries that has not yet become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That—
(1) the Senate—

(A) condemns the international abduction of all children;

(B) urges countries identified by the United States Department of State as noncompliant or demonstrating patterns of noncompliance with the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at The Hague October 25, 1980 (TIAS 11670) (referred to in this resolution as the “Hague Abduction Convention”) to fulfill their commitment under international law to expeditiously implement the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention;

(C) calls on all countries to become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention and to promptly institute measures to equitably and transparently address cases of international parental child abduction; and

(D) calls on all countries that have not become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention to develop a mechanism for the resolution of current and future cases of international parental child abduction that occur before those countries become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention in order to facilitate the prompt return of children abducted to those countries to the children’s countries of habitual residence; and

(2) it is the sense of the Senate that the United States should—

(A) vigorously pursue the return of each child abducted by a parent from the United States to another country through all appropriate means, facilitate access by the left-behind parent if the child is not returned, and, where appropriate, seek the extradition of the parent that abducted the child;

(B) take all appropriate measures to ensure that a child abducted to a country that is a party to the Hague Abduction Convention is returned to the country of habitual residence of the child in compliance with the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention;

(C) continue to use diplomacy to encourage other countries to become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention and to take the necessary steps to effectively fulfill their responsibilities under the Hague Abduction Convention;

(D) use diplomacy to encourage countries that have not become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention to develop an institutionalized mechanism to transparently and expeditiously resolve current and future cases of international child abduction that occur before those countries become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention; and

(E) review the advisory services made available to United States citizens by the United States Department of State, the United States Department of Justice, and other United States Government agencies—

(i) to improve the prevention of international parental child abduction from the United States; and

(ii) to ensure that effective and timely assistance is provided to United States citizens who are parents of children abducted from the United States and taken to foreign countries.

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Father sentenced to prison for kidnapping son


August 7, 2012

Source: utsandiego.com

LOS ANGELES — A judge has sentenced a California man to 27 months in prison for abducting his son and taking him out of the United States in 2008 without his ex-wife’s consent.

John Silah was sentenced Monday in federal court.

His brother George Silah received the same 27-month sentence last May for abducting his two sons and taking them out of the country, also without their mother’s consent.

The brothers were extradited to the U.S. after they were found in the Netherlands with their sons in November 2010.

Authorities say the international flight began after the Silah brothers picked up their sons for visits. They traveled through Mexico, Central America and Europe before getting caught.

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One Father’s Story Of Child Abduction And Recovery


August 6, 2012

Source: howtolearn.com

By Steve Fenton: After my then-6-year-old son was abducted and taken to Mexico in December 1992, I traveled to Mexico City to plead for his return via the Hague Convention Treaty. The response from the Central Authority director surprised me.

 “The U.S. has a very poor record of returning children to Mexico as well,” he said with a cold,   almost personal glare. I never forgot that.

Eventually, I realized the treaty would be of no help to me and I went on to privately recover my son in April 1993. It was a surreal rescue drama undertaken with the help of a specialized team, disguises, decoy car switches and a stealth flight in a small plane. My young son and I escaped under the noses of the Mexican military, flying 450 miles to Brownsville, Texas, through Mexican airspace.

In Brownsville, the FBI immediately detained and interrogated me, acting on frivolous allegations from Mexico City. Stunned, I was told that the U.S. agents intended to send my son back to Mexico with a Mexican consulate official.

I recount the whole nightmarish experience in Broken Treaty: The True Story of a Father’s Covert Recovery of his Missing Son from Mexico (www.brokentreaty.info).

My son is now an adult and I am still contacted for advice by left-behind parents; not only those of children taken to Mexico, but from parents who “hit a wall” trying to recover their children from the overwhelming complexities of the U.S. judicial system.

What should take weeks turns into months and in some cases years as parents in other countries attempt to retrieve children abducted to the United States. Petitions drag through delays and appeals. The State Department’s own statistics demonstrate what should be serious concerns if the United States wants to lead by example.

A 2010 Compliance Report drafted by the State Department shows that parents filed 324 Hague Convention Treaty applications involving 454 children abducted to the United States from other treaty partner countries. The United States accounts for a staggering 23 percent of all incoming and outgoing caseload petitions. The report showed that we have the poorest record in terms of treaty-specified case resolutions for applications under the accord. We also have the highest ratio of pending cases awaiting resolution.

Hague Treaty guidelines call for expeditious proceedings within six weeks of the date of commencement, but the United States has no clear domestic policy guidelines to even determine if the cases should be heard by federal, state or local courts. Between federal and local venues, there are potentially 31,500 judges who could hear a Hague case. The sobering reality is that most judges are not educated about the treaty. Many who do hear these cases deny the petition because they fear that returning the child will automatically result in custody being awarded to the left-behind parent.

They don’t realize that the treaty specifies children be returned to the state of “habitual residence,” where the proper forum by the requesting court country’s jurisdiction will make any final custody determination.

Several nations have taken steps to streamline the Hague petition quagmire by appointing specifically trained courts and judges within a limited number of courts. The United Kingdom, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Portugal, Romania and Sweden are on the cutting edge of amending their procedures to limited jurisdiction and have greatly reduced the delays in restitution of abducted children.

I hope to see the United States consolidate Hague cases to appointed courts with treaty-educated judges, so we can rightfully enjoy reciprocity by the world community on the return of wrongfully detained children abroad. I know only too well the anguish of the left-behind parent who sees the Hague Treaty as the only hope to recover a child.

Steve Fenton is a specialty building contractor. After his estranged wife spirited their son, an American, away to Xalapa, Mexico, the father decided he had to take action.

With little to no help from the U.S. and Mexican governments after a year and a half, the determined father went on a clandestine recovery mission across the border. What ensued were life-changing events that have defined the lives of father and son.

His book was written with some technical assistance from Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who would later become a national hero after safely landing U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River.

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Help reunite families destroyed by parental abduction


July 6, 2012

Source: yourhustonnews.com

As our nation grapples with important issues involving a weak economy and out of control spending, there is one troubling concern that hits closer to home: the growing number of child abductions by non-custodial parents. These kidnappings are devastating and occur too frequently, but they can be solved with help from the public.

Bianca Lozano, a girl who has not seen her own mother in sixteen years, turns 18 years old on August 19th. Bianca was kidnapped during a weekend visit by her non-custodial father, Juan Antonio Lozano, when she was only 18 months old. Evidence indicates that Juan Antonio Lozano originally fled to Mexico after taking Bianca from her mother.

Her mother, Deana Herbert, has spent the last 16 years searching for a single clue about the safety and well-being of Bianca. She continues to work with federal, state and local law enforcement, Harris County officials, the State Department, the Texas Attorney General’s office, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the FBI and Crime Stoppers in Houston to locate her daughter.

This tragedy was brought to my attention shortly after I took office. We have consistently worked to encourage community awareness and to keep pressure on law enforcement to be diligent in solving this case. The communities both in the US and Mexico can help law enforcement with tips or any information they may have concerning Bianca’s whereabouts.

I urge the public to be aware of this tragedy and to aid in our efforts to find Bianca and other children like her. I am counting on the good nature of all Americans to think carefully if you have seen this girl or her father and to let authorities or my office know if you have any information about Bianca’s whereabouts.

Last year, at least 1,500 children were unlawfully taken to foreign countries by a parent who had been living in the United States. Only 578 of those children were returned home.Roughly one third of the abducted children ended up in Mexico because of the parent’s ties to extended family or because of Mexico’s proximity. Unfortunately, international parental abductions are growing rapidly, which makes finding these kidnapped children all the more difficult.

Five minutes is too long for a mother to go without knowing the whereabouts of her child. Sixteen years is unbearable. I implore the good people of Texas and Mexico to come forward with any information.

As the father of two wonderful children, I can only imagine the heartbreak Deana has felt over the past 16 years, missing her daughter’s milestone moments. We have tried to work with the State Department on this matter but time is running out. Due to the International agreement of the Hague Act and Bianca’s 18th birthday, the State Department is very limited in what they can do moving forward to help this family. That is why I am asking for the public’s help to look carefully and help connect this girl with her mother.

Bianca, now 18, has a light-brown, semi-oval-shaped birthmark on her right shoulder blade. At the time of her disappearance she had pierced ears. If anyone has any information about her location, please contact the FBI or local law enforcement. Bianca Lozano deserves to know that she has a mother in Texas who loves her very much and wants to know she is safe.

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Mother fled Italy for St. Petersburg, Russia with her four children


Source: Huffingtonpost

Russian Democracy Has a Pulse, Now It Needs a Heart

The Arab Spring was made possible by Facebook servers — sitting in one country affecting another. The ability of information in the form of electrons, to easily pass through borders designed to stop things in the form of atoms, forces us to update our ideas of sovereignty, and the seven billion pieces that give it form — citizenship.

The most simplistic reading of sovereignty is the ability to issue passports, to have a postal system, print money and field an army. But what is the point of a postal system when letters arrive in your inbox without needing stamps? And what is the point of government-issued currency, when we pull out a plastic card instead of paper bills every time we buy things? And what is the meaning of citizenship, when people who are born and live in one country carry passports issued in another? And what is the power of an army when dealing with non-state actors like Al-Qaeda?

Perhaps a way to understand the big picture is to look at the small picture.

My attention these days is focused on Russia — not for the obvious reasons of civil unrest due to election fraud that is currently in the news; the story that has got my attention is smaller but it, too, is a window into the health of Russian democracy.

It is the story of an Italian resident and American and Russian citizen, Marianne Grin, who fled Italy for St. Petersburg, Russia with her four children. My friendship with her family is how I initially learned about this story. The rest comes from Russian and Italian newspaper reports and court documents.

Ms. Grin has said she has fled to St. Petersburg, Russia to escape domestic violence where she claims to have close family. This is an odd claim as she has no family in Russia. Her mother, the children’s maternal grandmother lives in California, as do the children’s paternal grandparents.

Once in Russia she re-invented herself as a persecuted “Russian mother” playing to cultural xenophobic fears. She appeared on TV, gave interviews, and started a blog drawing attention to herself — leaving out the fact that she owns property in both Russia and Italy and has a law degree from Harvard University from her new narrative.

She has also claimed that the U.S. Consulate tried to break into her apartment and kidnap her children. This seems more like a cry for a help than a serious accusation against the State Department.

While the weakness of Russian democracy can be seen through the lens of a recent fraudulent election, another way to get a pulse of this democracy is by looking at the integrity of the press corps. In Russia, it seems as if it is on life support. The transition from a top down authoritarian system under communism that told the press what to write, to the independent investigative system that is essential for a healthy democracy has not gone well.

In fact, it has gone terribly. While the high-profile brutal murders of journalists Anna Stepanovna PolitkovskayaPaul Klebnikov, Khadzhimurad Kamalov are well known, what is less known, but horrifying, is the murder of 213 Russian journalists in the last decade.  With so many journalists killed one can conclude that in order for a reporter to survive it’s better not to ask questions. This makes doing one’s job as a journalist impossible.  Perhaps, this why none of the reporters verified Ms. Grin’s story by talking to the father, family members, or the Italian authorities before publishing it in Russia.

When the story was told in Italy, it was radically different than the story told in Russia. According to the leading Italian national newspaper, La Repubblica, Ms. Grin had lost custody after the court-appointed psychologist concluded that she had a severely disturbed personality and posed a danger to her own children. It’s not easy for a mother to lose custody in Italy as the Italian courts strongly favor “Mamma” in custody disputes and fathers are awarded exclusive custody in only 1.6 percent of cases.

The Italian newspapers also reported there had been no domestic violence by the father and others that Ms. Grin had accused of violence.

It appears that Ms. Grin was not escaping domestic violence — rather she was escaping a court judgment that she didn’t like.

Why does any of this matter? 

I think this case redefines how we can think about the bigger ideas of citizenship and sovereignty and is a window into the state of democracy in Russia.

Let’s talk about citizenship first. What does it mean to be a citizen in a world of global employment hop-scotching? There are four children involved here. Three of them were born in Italy, one in the U.S. The children have Russian and U.S. passports, but that’s a legal status. What does that mean to a child?  To these kids the only home they have ever known is Florence, Italy. This is where they have been growing up. It’s where their schools are and where their friends live. It’s their state of mind, and their state of place, until now.

Now, through no fault of their own, it seems the children are stateless. The mechanism for protecting children is established. It’s called the Hague International Convention Against Child Abduction. The Convention provides for the immediate return of children abducted from their “habitual place of domicile.” In July of 2011, Russia joined the convention. This is the first case to come up in Russia after the convention came into force in October 2011. So far it seems that the Russian Foreign Ministry is supporting international child abduction instead of honoring the treaty it signed and has turned a blind eye to the human rights at stake here. The father, family and friends have been denied access to the children; the children’s education has been interrupted, and that’s cruel.

The safety of the children needs to be made a priority.

Given the Italian courts’ allegations against Ms. Grin of mental instability, all of this took on a sense of urgency on Nov. 21, 2011 when, in a parallel story, Elke Mellersh left her husband with her two children and fled from England to Turkey, where she also claimed to be protecting them from the father.  She, too, found refuge in local Turkish media, which sensationalized rather than verified her story. The story ends with Elke taking her delusions of protection to the extreme, killing herself and the two small children.

Do laws in countries matter? Do laws between countries matter? I would argue that they do now with the new permeability of borders caused by a shift from the analog to the digital more than ever. So while the concept of citizenship remains blurry to me, one thing that would make it clear, and would also be a sign of healthy democracy would be if the children were returned to their home in Italy and reunited with their father, friends, family and classmates in accordance with Italian law, Russian law, and international treaty.

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International Parental Child Abduction : Fathers pay price when mothers take children


Source: Irish Times – Irishtimes.com

JOHN WATERS

DESPITE ONE-THIRD of births occurring in non-marital relationships, unmarried Irish fathers remain deeply ignorant of their legal situation.

Under Irish law, such fathers have no automatic right to the day-to-day care of their children (“custody”) or to a say in the upbringing of their children (“guardianship”). What they have is the right to apply to a court, which may then extend rights of guardianship and custody according to the nature of the relationship between the child and the father, a matter almost invariably dictated by the attitude and behaviour of the gatekeeper-mother.

Although mischievous agents propose that the high numbers of Irish unmarried fathers neglecting to apply for guardianship is evidence of indifference, the fact is that many fathers, reluctant to initiate legal proceedings that might create a conflict where none exists, tend to leave well alone.

This leads to extreme difficulties when mothers abduct children to other jurisdictions and fathers find themselves bereft of legal standing.

Almost all European countries now make legal provision for the concept of the “de facto family” – which extends legal recognition in situations in which unmarried parents and their children have lived together in quasi-marital situations. This can enable an unmarried father who has no formal guardianship order to invoke the Hague Convention in the event that his child is abducted. Irish law is noticeably out of step in the recognition of such “inchoate rights”.

The man in the street may attribute this circumstance to oversight. Alas, it arises from the ideological outlook of the Irish State, which is determined to withhold from unmarried fathers anything but the most minimal recognition forced upon it by international law.

The lay person, too, might surmise that, all things being equal, the objective of the Irish State will always be to strive towards just and equitable resolutions, subject only to whatever legal impediments may arise.

Alas, in abduction situations where the abductor is the mother, such an assumption would be mistaken.

In fact, the pattern of behaviour by the Irish central authority in these matters – ie the Department of Justice – is to turn its back on fathers whose children have been abducted, even when the destination country is reluctant to accept jurisdiction.

This policy became clear over the past 18 months, in a case arising from the refusal of a mother to bring her two children back to Ireland after a summer holiday in New York. For six years the father had lived in Ireland with his children, in virtually every respect as though married to the mother. In August 2010, the mother told him she and their two children would remain in New York, where she was moving in with a man she had met on Facebook.

The children had been born in New York, which meant that the father was their legal guardian under US law. He had the right to apply to a New York court, but felt that to do so would be to acquiesce in what had happened.

He wished to have the matter adjudicated in Ireland, where his children had lived almost all their lives. He approached the Department of Justice but was told that, since he did not have guardianship here, there was no legal recourse under the Hague Convention.

Proceedings were initiated in New York by the mother, while the father began seeking guardianship under Irish law. In November 2010, he was granted a guardianship order. Because this application was initiated within a statutory six-month period stipulated by New York law – in effect confirming the children were for legal purposes still habitually resident in Ireland – and since the father continued to reside here, the New York court ruled that the case should be determined by the Irish courts.

All that was required was for an Irish court to issue a temporary custody order in favour of the father, and the New York court could have ordered the return of the children here.

The next step was to persuade the Irish court to do the decent thing. Three hearings, in August, October and November 2011, were adjourned in turn because the judge was away. Although it was implicit in the New York decision that, by issuing a guardianship order, the Irish court had already accepted jurisdiction, the Irish judge refused to communicate with his counterpart in New York.

Instead, in the end, he wrote to the New York court handing over jurisdiction, unwittingly confirming that, contrary to the assertions of the Department of Justice, the Irish court already had jurisdiction. Thus, in December, this Irish father was forced to surrender to the jurisdiction of an American court.

These Irish proceedings, involving 12 court appearances and nine different judges over 15 months, cost this father more than €20,000.

For years I have been meeting men like this, trying to help them deal with the inscrutable processes that “legal advice” forbids me from describing in the only terms I can adequately and reasonably describe them.

I observe with dismay that things are growing worse, not just in the treatment of such men and their children, but even more ominously in the studied avoidance of these matters by other journalists who make much of calling authority to account except here, where the sleep of justice is more implacable than anywhere else.

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What is Needed Under The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction To Get My Child Back?


Source: Internationalchildcustody.com

The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction sets out standards for what is needed to apply for a return order of a child that is a victim of parental abduction or who has been wrongfully withheld by a non-custodial parent. Those standards are set out in Article 7:

Central Authorities shall co-operate with each other and promote co-operation amongst the competent authorities in their respective States to secure the prompt return of children and to achieve the other objects of this Convention.
In particular, either directly or through any intermediary, they shall take all appropriate measures –
a) to discover the whereabouts of a child who has been wrongfully removed or retained;
b) to prevent further harm to the child or prejudice to interested parties by taking or causing to be taken provisional measures;
c) to secure the voluntary return of the child or to bring about an amicable resolution of the issues;
d) to exchange, where desirable, information relating to the social background of the child;
e) to provide information of a general character as to the law of their State in connection with the application of the Convention;
f) to initiate or facilitate the institution of judicial or administrative proceedings with a view to obtaining the return of the child and, in a proper case, to make arrangements for organising or securing the effective exercise of rights of access;
g) where the circumstances so require, to provide or facilitate the provision of legal aid and advice, including the participation of legal counsel and advisers;
h) to provide such administrative arrangements as may be necessary and appropriate to secure the safe return of the child;
i) to keep each other informed with respect to the operation of this Convention and, as far as possible, to eliminate any obstacles to its application.

In theory each signatory country has a duty to aid in the return of a child who has been wrongfully withheld or is the victim of Parental Abduction. In the United States that duty is coordinated through the State Department who designates local authorities such as the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office to aid in the return of abducted children. In reality, many times the victim parent hires private attorneys such as Pisarra & Grist to aid in the process.

Also read: The Hague Convention – Proved useless

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

One key to ABP World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

Contact us here: Mail

Join the Facebook Group: International Parental Child Abduction

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443

UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013 –

Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271