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

For more information, visit our web site: www.abpworld.com

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An analysis of the extortion threat in Mexico


September 28, 2013

Source: RED24.com

Extortion has been an issue in Mexico for a number of years, but came to prominence on 25 August 2011. On this date, as many as ten heavily armed gunmen arrived in three vehicles and entered the Casino Royale in Monterrey, capital of Nuevo Leon state. They doused the facility in fuel and sporadically detonated grenades on the gaming floor.

extortion-letter1

The final death toll in the casino fire was declared to be 52. Subsequent investigations established that Los Zetas, arguably Mexico’s most prominent drug cartel, was responsible for the incident. According to members of the cartel that were arrested for their involvement, the intention of the attack was to send a message to the owner over his failure to pay an extortion fee to the cartel.

The scale of the extortion problem is assessed to have increased in the two years following the Monterrey incident. The increase in cases from the respective first quarters in 2012 to 2013 alone is believed to be greater than 180 percent. In addition, cases involving foreign firms are reported to have doubled in the same period. This challenges the long-held assumption that extortion has a limited impact on foreign business operations in Mexico.

Extortion is essentially the unlawful extraction of money, property or other concessions through coercion. In Mexico, it is largely a factor of the general insecurity that has accompanied the rise in drug cartel-related violence. Since 2006, when former president Felipe Calderon launched a large-scale anti-narcotics security strategy in an effort to combat organised crime, extortion rates have grown significantly.

Perpetrators and targets
Among the chief perpetrators of extortion in Mexico are drug cartels. The larger of these organisations yield considerable influence in their areas of operation and usually conduct their criminal affairs with a high degree of impunity. Los Zetas, together with the equally pervasive Sinaloa cartel, maintain a presence in a significant number of Mexican cities and smaller organisations have filled the void elsewhere. Although the principal activity of large drug cartels remains the production, trafficking and distribution of a range of narcotics, the pressure put on drug cartels by an ongoing government offensive and increased competition have meant that these groups have diversified their criminal activities in order to augment their revenues. Among these activities, extortion has been particularly lucrative.

1291026869-business-community-rallies-against-extortion-and-kidnapping-_521788

Amid general insecurity perpetuated in large part by the presence of several influential drug cartels in the country, opportunistic unprofessional extortion has grown. This group of perpetrators has piggy-backed on the fear instilled by drug groups to threaten victims during extortion attempts. Under the guise of being part of a cartel, the lay-criminal can conduct extortion without the necessary capability or motivation to carry out threats. Apart from drug cartels and opportunistic criminals, there are also a proportion of extortion attempts instigated by criminal organisations that do not partake in drug trafficking activities. The extent to which criminal organisations will follow through on threats is largely contingent on the professionalism of the group.

Until fairly recently (roughly 2006), local and family-owned businesses were discriminately targeted by extortionists. This was fundamentally due to the ease with which perpetrators could identify those with control over the finances of the enterprise. Smaller local firms are also more likely to have cash available on demand. However, there has been a significant expansion in the potential targets of extortions in recent years. Indeed, statistics and anecdotal evidence suggest that the full revenue-spectrum of businesses and the full range of income-earners are targeted.

Another departure from the status quo in recent years has been the willingness for extortionists to target foreign companies or those with interests in these companies. Statistics on the extent of the crime among foreign firms aren’t easily accessible; this is largely due to the lack of reporting and undesirability of this becoming common knowledge. However, at least one survey indicates that as many as 36 percent of foreign firms fell victim to extortion in 2012.

Characteristics of extortion in Mexico
It is assessed that the majority of extortion incidents in Mexico are initiated via telephone. Although random cold-calls are common (often initiated from within the Mexican prison system), potential victims are usually researched by means of reconnaissance to establish how much money can be extorted. In addition, information on the victim’s family and other aspects of their personal life can be used by the perpetrator to bolster the threat. In communication with the victim, the perpetrator will make a demand and the threat of violence to the victims or to their family, property or business interests will be used to encourage an expedient result for the perpetrator. In other cases of telephone-based extortion, the perpetrator may claim to have already kidnapped somebody related to the victim in some way. In this case, the release of the victim is contingent on meeting the extortion demands.

Those involved in extortion are increasingly directly approaching business owners and employees. This method is common in areas with a significant organised crime group presence. As with telephone-initiated extortion, threats to person and property accompany demands. Often justified as protection money or ‘derecho de piso’, extortionists may make demands of victims on a regular basis. This can lead to an extortion racket that can extend to other businesses in the area or industry.

The amount demanded in revenue-motivated extortions varies greatly. This is dependent somewhat on the professionalism of the perpetrators, the size of the company, and the perceived revenue that said company draws. In virtual extortions, demands of as low as US$400 are not uncommon, while larger companies may be victims of attempts to extort as much as US$200,000. In addition, racketeering can see larger companies pay up to US$20,000 per month to those perpetrating extortion.

States worst affected by the crime include Morelos, where as many as 34 incidents are recorded per 100,000 of the population, Durango (17 per 10,000), Baja California (16 per 100,000), Chihuahua 13 per 100,000), Jalisco (12 per 100,000), as well as Mexico City (11 per 100,000). At this point, it is worthwhile reiterating that reporting rates are believed to be exceedingly low and that the actual rate of extortion could be as much as double those listed above. In fact, anecdotal evidence suggests an extortion rate nearer to 100 per 100,000 in some areas of worst-affected states. Furthermore, local sources report that, in some major cities, few city-centre businesses are exempt from extortion attempts.

Advice
Given its effectiveness as a crime and the relatively low risk to the perpetrators, extortion incidents are unlikely to decline in the short- to medium-term. Those intending to operate in the country should explicitly address the risk as part of their due diligence assessments and are advised to consider ways to mitigate the threat. These measures include developing a crisis response plan and process; assigning crisis management roles and responsibilities; and, conducting training and role-play exercises to simulate extortion situations. This should ideally be done together with a security organisation that specialises in dealing with kidnap for ransom and extortion (KRE). In-country personnel should be made aware of how to deal with extortion attempts and, at the very least, keep a low public profile, avoid disseminating unnecessary company and personal information, and remain calm and measured in communication with the perpetrators.

 

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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: +34 633 374 629

Anti-kidnap programme for Antwerp diamond companies


June 25 , 2013

Source: timesofindia

Diamantaires in the world’s biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat, who have their trading offices in Antwerp, have welcomed the move by Antwerp World Diamond Centre’s (AWDC) security office and Antwerp police to launch an integrated anti-tiger kidnapping programme for diamond companies in Antwerp.

diamonds

The programme, designed exclusively for diamantaires, especially Gujarati diamantaires on the radar of Italian mafia, would give a thorough understanding and help regarding the so-called tiger kidnapping. The event will take place on June 27 at Diamantclub Antwerpen, the Antwerp Diamond Club.

Sources said a tiger kidnapping, or tiger robbery, involves two separate crimes. The first crime usually involves an abduction of a person. Instead of demanding money, the captors demand that a second crime be committed on their behalf, such as a theft. The person held hostage is kept by the captors until their demands are met.

There have been a number of crimes in Antwerp where criminals have taken members of the families of diamantaires hostage and demanded that the company owner or employee go to the office and bring back diamonds or cash.

Antwerp-Diamonds

The Indian origin population in Belgium, mainly Gujarati, numbers about 14,000, of whom 5,000, belonging to 600 families, are in the diamond trade. Some years ago, Jewish traders made up 80 per cent of the business, with Indians accounting for 20 per cent. It is understood these positions have now reversed.

Diamonds are crucial to Belgium’s economy and to the gems trade in Surat and Mumbai, with which the Indian traders, mostly of Gujarati origin, have close links.

The diamond trading quarter of Antwerp is well protected but this is not always the case with the homes of the traders, though some do tend to employ private guards.

In 2010 and 2012 respectively, two diamond heists were reported in Antwerp where Gujarati diamantaires of the DTC sightholder companies-Kiran Gems and Karp Impex-were targeted by armed robbers.

Antwerp_Diamond-Security

In both the diamond heists, the gang members had held the family members of diamantiares hostage in the house at gunpoint and the diamantaires were asked to bring the polished diamond stock from the safe vaults and their offices. Dinesh Navadia, president, Surat Diamond Association, who is in Antwerp, said, “The diamantaires here are happy with the AWDC programme against tiger kidnapping. This will provide a sense of safety and security to the diamantaires.”

Read about ABP World Group`s, CAC – Conduct After Capture training here

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NOTE: We are always available 24/7

1-800-847-2315     US Toll free Number
0-808-189-0066    UK Toll Free Number
800-11-618              Norway Toll Free Number

Worldwide International Number: +31-208112223

24/7 Emergency Number: +47 40466526

Kinderontvoering door ouders: Aantal ontvoeringen van kinderen door ouders stijgt


April 13, 2013

Source: hln.be

In 2011 zijn in ons land 241 ontvoeringen van minderjarigen door een ouder geregistreerd. Dat aantal zit sinds 2008 (170 feiten) in de lift. In 2009 werden er 209 feiten vastgesteld en in 2010 214. In de eerste 6 maanden van 2012 waren dat er 96.

Ontvoeringer_Kinderen

Ook het aantal pogingen tot ouderlijke ontvoering steeg in de periode 2009-2011 van 19 tot 39. In 2008 werden 31 pogingen geregistreerd en in het eerste semester van 2012 17. In 2011 werden ook 139 andere ontvoeringen van minderjarigen en 107 pogingen tot vastgesteld. In 2010 was dat respectievelijk 93 en 104 en in de eerste 6 maanden van 2012 68 en 72. Het totaal aantal ontvoeringen (met inbegrip van de pogingen) van minderjarigen steeg in de periode 2008-2011 van 435 tot 526 (253 in de eerste 6 maanden van 2012).

Minister van Binnenlandse Zaken Joëlle Milquet deelt ook cijfers over het aantal “vrijheidsberovingen door een particulier”. In 2011 werden 862 dergelijke feiten (met inbegrip van pogingen) geregistreerd. Ook dit cijfer zit sinds 2008 (683) in de lift. In de eerste 6 maanden van 2012 werden 409 feiten vastgesteld.

In 2011 werden ook 68 gijzelingen (pogingen inbegrepen) geregistreerd. Dat aantal daalt. In 2010 werden 79 dergelijke feiten vastgesteld, in 2009 101 en in de eerste 6 maanden 2012 31.

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(646) 502-7443 United States

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01 442 9322 Ireland
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International Parental Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents


January 21, 2013

Source: Government of Canada

Introduction

International child abductions are difficult and complex situations. Unfortunately, they are not uncommon. Every year, hundreds of Canadian children are wrongfully taken from Canada or held in another country by abducting parents.

An international child abduction occurs when a parent, guardian or other person with lawful care of charge of a child removes that child from Canada, or retains that child outside Canada, without either the legal authority or permission of a parent who has full or joint custody rights.

 Canadian_Child

If you think the other parent may be planning to abduct your child, there are things you can do to prevent it. Start by reading the section entitled Preventing the Abduction of Your Child.

But if the abduction has already happened, you should know: each international child abduction is unique—but at the same time shares much with others.

Taking certain steps will improve the chances you will find and recover your child. Consular officials, provincial/territorial and federal governments, law enforcement officials, lawyers and non-governmental organizations may all help you decide on and take those steps.

This guidebook is meant to help you understand the processes and issues involved in searching for and trying to bring back your child. It gives you information about:

  • stopping an abduction in progress
  • finding your child in a foreign country
  • bringing your child back to Canada.

The guidebook is also meant to direct you to the right sources of help. It has a directory of resources and organizations that you can turn to for help. It also has checklists of information you will need during each stage of the process.

You may face legal and emotional difficulties as you fight an international child abduction. Despite the challenges, it is important not to become discouraged. Remember that you can take many actions to resolve an abduction.

It is also important to remember that, despite all your work to get your child back, it may be a long and complicated process—and that things do not always work out as planned.

You can be sure that the Children’s Issues Section of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada will be there to help. Our dedicated Consular Case Management Officers will be available to you throughout the process. They are very knowledgeable about international child abduction issues and have detailed information about specific countries. They will be key in helping with your case.

If you have questions that are not addressed in this guidebook, please contact:

Children’s Issues Section, Consular Services
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0G2
Toll-free telephone (Canada): 1-800-387-3124
International telephone (collect): + 1-613-996-8885
Fax: 613-944-1078

Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to provide accurate and current information in this guidebook. None of this information should be construed as legal advice, nor is it intended to replace the advice of a lawyer or other authorities.

This guidebook and other information for parents of children abducted to foreign countries are available at travel.gc.ca/child.

If Your Child Is Missing

What you can do

Your child is missing. You think the other parent may have taken them out of Canada.

Or your child is outside Canada and you want to bring them home—but you think the other parent will try to keep them where they are.

Either way—and even if you are not sure your child has been abductedthere are steps you can take. This section tells you about them and about the people and organizations that can help you.

Take these steps as soon as you think your child is missing.

Tell the local police

The local police will be your main point of contact.

Tell them what your child looks like—things such as age, height, weight and the colour of eyes, hair and skin.

Tell them what the abducting parent looks like.

Give them photos, if you have them.

Tell them whether the parent or child has citizenship in a country besides Canada.

Show them the most recent custody order or agreement, if you have one.

custody order is a legal document, handed down by a court, that sets out which parent has custody of a child and on what terms.

custody agreement (or parenting agreement), is also a legal document setting out the terms of custody. It is signed by both parents to show that they agree to its terms. Usually, an agreement’s terms have been reached by the parents working together, often with help from their lawyers or mediators.

If you are in Canada, ask them to enter your information into the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and the U.S. National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer systems. This will give every police force in Canada and the United States access to the information.

Give them any other information you think may help them find and return your child. The more information you can give the police, the better.

Give them a phone number or an address where they can reach you at all times. Being reachable at all times is very important.

Tell your family and friends

Ask them to call you right away if they hear anything about your child or the abducting parent. Give them the same phone number or address you gave the police.

Remember: You want to be reachable anytime, anywhere, in case someone has news.

Tell your child’s school, doctor and daycare (and hospital, if need be)

Tell them you have called the police.

As you did with your family and friends, ask them to contact you if they hear anything that might help you find your child or the abducting parent.

Give them the same phone number or address you gave the police and your family and friends.

If your child gets regular treatment at a hospital, give the hospital the same information.

Contact a lawyer

A lawyer can:

  • give you legal advice and represent you in court
  • tell you what options you may have
  • help you protect your interests when you deal with governments and organizations in Canada and other countries
  • help you consider whether to get a custody order or agreement—even after an abduction has happened. A custody order or agreement helps when you are dealing with authorities in Canada or another country.

If you need the services of a lawyer, the law society in your province or territory will provide a referral service. For contact information, visit this list of law societies in Canada.

Contact Passport Canada (Government of Canada)

Passport Canada is a special agency of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, a partner in the Government of Canada’s efforts against international child abductions.

Ask whether the agency has issued a travel document, such as a passport, in your child’s name.

Tell them the details of your situation. Give them copies of legal documents concerning your child—for example, custody orders or separation agreements.

Be aware that Passport Canada will have to decide how much they can legally tell you. The information you give them will help them decide.

Ask them to add your child’s name to the Passport Canada System Lookout List. This will alert Passport Canada officials if they receive a passport application for your child.

Call Passport Canada at 1-800-567-6868 (Canada and the United States toll-free) or visit passportcanada.gc.ca for more contact information.

What Passport Canada may do

  • Invalidate your child’s Canadian passport or other travel document.
  • Refuse to issue a new passport if that would contradict a court order or separation agreement.

Contact Consular Services (Government of Canada)

Consular Services is also part of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, a government department that is a partner in the Government of Canada’s efforts against international child abductions.

In Canada, call Consular Services toll-free at 1-800-387-3124. Inside or outside Canada, call 613-996-8885, collect where available and direct where not. Emergency assistance is available at those numbers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are outside Canada, you can also contact the nearest Canadian government office abroad. For a list of locations and phone numbers, see the Directory of Canadian Government Offices Abroad.

What to expect when you contact Consular Services

When you contact Consular Services, you will be dealing with people in the Children’s Issues Section.

A Consular Case Management Officer (CMO) will be assigned to work with you. Your CMO will follow up with you, by phone or email, whenever you have questions. But in an emergency after regular office hours, call the numbers above.

If the international abduction has not yet happened, the CMO will work with other government departments to help keep it from happening.

The Consular Case Management Officer (CMO) will be very knowledgeable about issues regarding international child abductions and have detailed information about specific countries.

Your CMO will always talk with you before taking any action in your case.

Consular Services will ask you, among other things:

  • your name, date of birth and citizenship
  • your child’s name, date of birth and citizenship
  • the other parent’s name, date of birth and citizenship
  • to give a detailed description of the situation and the background to it
  • what documents (for example, passports or visas) your child and the other parent would use to travel
  • to provide copies of legal documents, such as a court order, mediated agreement or signed consent letter for children travelling abroad
  • for information on the other parent’s ties to the other country
  • the other parent’s travel plans, if you know them
  • when you last had contact with the abducting parent and your child
  • what steps you have taken already, such as calling the police or consulting a lawyer
  • for your consent to speak with other people and organizations that can help get your child returned to Canada.

Consular Services can:

  • help you contact another country’s diplomatic or consular offices in Canada to find out whether they have issued travel documents or a visa that your child may have used to leave Canada
  • contact authorities in other countries and ask for their help—this help can vary greatly, depending on the country
  • help you work with Passport Canada to find out whether they have issued your child a Canadian passport
  • try to contact the other parent, if the other parent refuses to speak with you directly.

Consular Services cannot:

  • pay your legal fees or other expenses
  • give you legal advice, act as your lawyer or represent you in court
  • mediate with the other parent on your behalf.

Contact non-governmental organizations

Canada has many organizations that can help when a child is missing. They help in many ways, from giving emotional support to searching for the child.

If you contact one of these organizations, tell your lawyer. Your lawyer can help you make sure the organization does not take steps that get in the way of your other efforts to find your child.

See the list of non-governmental organizations. You will have to decide whether their services are appropriate for you.

Contact the other parent’s family and friends

As you did with your own family and friends, ask them to contact you if they hear anything that might help you find your child or the other parent.

Be sure to keep the contact friendly.

Give them the same phone number or address you gave the police and your family and friends.

The other parent’s family and friends may be able to tell you where your child is—the most important information in a child abduction investigation.

Media

You may decide to contact the media about your child’s abduction. You should consider this decision carefully. You may wish to discuss the possibility of contacting the media with a lawyer to help you consider all implications for your case.

Media attention may not be helpful. Sometimes it may let abducting parents know people are looking for them. That could make them go into hiding, making them harder to find and making the situation more stressful and dangerous for the child.

What authorities can do

Local and national authorities in Canada, as well as those from other countries, will do their best to keep an international abduction from happening. They will try to keep the abducting parent and child from leaving Canada or stop them when they arrive in another country.

Be aware:

Canada does not have “exit controls”—people leaving the country do not go through an immigration check. This makes it hard for authorities to keep people from leaving. 

The abducting parent may leave Canada with your child very soon after abducting them. This means authorities may have only a short time to keep the abduction from happening.

What follows describes what the different authorities may do.

Local police

Local police may:

  • check the abducting parent’s credit card reports and records of purchase
  • check what long-distance calls the abducting parent may have made
  • seek cooperation from a doctor or hospital that has treated your child, if your child needs prescription medicine or regular medical treatment
  • get the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Interpol involved
  • issue an Amber Alert
  • enter your information into the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and the U.S. National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer systems.

Be aware: Police can do some of these things only after a judge has determined that there is enough evidence to reasonably believe that police require the authority to carry out such actions. Also, police may require a copy of your custody order or agreement to carry out some of these actions.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is Canada’s national police force. The RCMP’s National Missing Children’s Operations helps other police forces find and return missing children to their parents.

The RCMP may:

  • at the request of your local police, put your child’s description on a website that gives the public information on missing children across Canada
  • request that Interpol publish a notice that lets police forces in Interpol member countries know an international child abduction may have happened.

Interpol

Interpol is the world’s largest international police organization. It has about 190 member countries. Interpol lets police around the world work together to solve crimes.

Through Interpol, the RCMP may:

  • issue notices to all member countries that a child is missing
  • ask police in member countries to look for an abductor or to look for a child and ask about the safety and well-being of that child.

Interpol notices

Interpol issues notices to police forces around the world to search for abductors or children. The notices are colour-coded.

Red notices seek people wanted on an arrest warrant.

Blue notices seek people who may or may not have committed a crime (including abductors).

Yellow notices seek missing people (including children).

For more information, visit Notices.

Amber Alerts

Amber Alerts help find abducted children fast. Every province has an Amber Alert program; the territories do not.

Amber Alerts appear in media such as television, radio, the Internet and newspapers, and through SMS, as soon as police think a child might have been abducted. The alerts ask the public to get involved in finding the child.

Police issue Amber Alerts only when they think a child may be in serious danger. This means they are issued less often when a child has been abducted by a parent.

Your local police will decide whether to issue an Amber Alert for your child.

Canada Border Services Agency (Government of Canada)

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) can:

  • issue border alerts to watch for a missing child whose parent may be taking them from the country; often these are part of an Amber Alert.

Be aware:

  • CBSA does not check everyone leaving the country, because Canada does not have exit controls.
  • It takes time to organize efforts to stop an abductor from leaving Canada. If an abductor and child leave the country quickly, authorities may not be able to stop them.

Other countries’ border services

The Canadian government may:

  • ask another country to stop a parental abductor and child as they try to enter that country.

Be aware: The Canadian government can only ask for help from another country’s government. The government of the other country will decide what action to take.

Your Consular Case Management Officer will manage the request (see Contact Consular Services for more information).

Read more here: Government of Canada

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Parental Abduction: Thailand Child Abduction Law


July 14, 2012

Source: Thailand Family Law Center

Child abduction or “child kidnapping” cases typically occur during a child custody dispute, when one parent flees a legal jurisdiction with a child to avoid the jurisdiction of a particular court. International law and Thailand family law may come into play when a child is abducted from a foreign country and taken to Thailand or when a child is taken from Thailand to a foreign country, or when a child is abducted by a parent within Thailand.

Q: What should I do if my child is abducted and taken to Thailand?

A: The first thing a parent must do if a child has been abducted is to contact a qualified Thailand family law attorney and make a police report. A qualified attorney will assist with filing the necessary complaints with legal authorities. Based on the circumstances of each case, a family attorney may file a police report with the relevant embassy in Thailand, or file a formal request pursuant to the Hague Treaty. A Thai Family Law Attorney can file a court complaint with the Thailand family court. If criminal charges are involved, a criminal complaint may also be required.

Q: Can the Hague Convention on Child Abduction be used in Thailand?

A: The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction provides a procedure for parents who have had their children abducted by the other parent. The Hague Treaty on Child Abduction is executed through the governments of treaty member countries, but normally requires an attorney to file the appropriate documents with the government authority responsible for the retrieval of the child.

Thailand has formally acceded to the convention; however, at this time the proper procedures for acting upon the convention have not been codified into Thai law. This means that the convention, falls into an ambiguous area of Thailand law. In certain cases of child abduction originating in Thailand, wherein the child has been taken to a different that is a Hague connection signatory, a Hague Convention action may be filed through the relevant government authorities of the country. However, in cases where a child has been abducted and taken to Thailand, the aggrieved parents’ remedy may be through obtaining a court order from the Thai family court. Cases need to be examined individually.

Q: What is the procedure for retrieving a child who has been taken to Thailand?

A: In order to retrieve a child that has been abducted by a parent in Thailand, the parent who is seeking the return of the child must established custody rights of the child in Thailand Family Courts. A court order of sole custody can then be used by the aggrieved parent to obtain the return of the child. Such action can be enforced by Thailand court and police officials. Depending on the circumstances, a police complaint may also be necessary.

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Expert: Parental abduction never in child’s best interest


An Ontario expert familiar with parental abduction cases speaks about how children are emotionally damaged by these incidents and relates two stories of children who were found in Toronto.

Terry Smith, Program Administration for Child Find Ontario, discussed the last side effects on children who have been abducted by a parent during a phone interview. She stressed first and foremost that parental abduction is a crime. “In almost all cases a child is not abducted for the good of the child.
Those cases are extremely rare. We have systems in place for when a child is in danger from another parent. Taking the law into your own hands is never the right way to go.” Smith said that for the most part parents who may not get along still do a wonderful job of co-parenting because they put the best interest of their children above all else.
Sometimes there are issues that need to be addressed which are by use of the systems that are in place. There may be reasons that the courts limit visitations for instance that a parent wants to change. By using the court system parents can work to give their children their best. “Parents may not always like the answers but the systems are managed by people who are without an emotional stake allowing them to work for what is in the best interest of the child.
The system works. In the rare cases that it doesn’t work parents need to challenge the system. Instead of abducting a child a good parent will come up with an idea to make the system work better. By and large co-parenting even without liking the former spouse is being done wonderfully every day.” It’s when a parent oversteps those systems, taking off with their child that everything falls apart.
Abducting ones own child is a crime. Still the public, media and even some law authorities view parental abduction as a ‘soft crime’ placing the bigger fears with stranger abductions. It is not often stressed the seriousness of parental abduction. The scars left on the child in these cases are not visible so they tend to be overlooked. “When found kids can do wonderfully when they are helped.
The children need to have support though in order to thrive and realize that they are not at fault.” While most parental abductions do not end violently some do.
Changing the public’s perspective of parental abduction is needed in order for more of these children to be found more quickly. The longer a child is on the run the more emotional damage there is and the longer it takes for the child to become a ‘real kid’ again when they are found. “When one person jumps out of line is when it goes wrong. When they feel that they are above the law their kids will suffer.
Parental abduction has serious side effects on the children. Trust, identity, living a lie, everything they knew of their life is gone, having to choose one parent over another-these add up on the overall toll to the child.” When a parent makes the decision to abduct their child they tend to not be considering their child’s best interest but rather their own. Being pulled away from the world a child knows has lasting effects. Kids who have been found and reunited with their other parent have said that they felt alone and isolated, betrayed by their parents and most damaging of all felt that they were in some way responsible for their parents actions.
The Victims of Violence website states that the child victim is often depressed, has a loss of community and stability, anger, loneliness, helplessness and a fear of abandonment. Some of the children have experienced Reactive Attachment Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Overanxious Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Disruptive Behaviour Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, eating disorders, learning disorders, regression and elimination disorders, and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome as a result of their time on the run. Smith said that these children have to deal with a huge internal tug of war. While there are few cases in Canada where children taken in parental abductions have been murdered there are a few.
One case that Smith related dealt with a man who was angry at his ex and took their daughter in Toronto. He had threatened to kill both himself and the child. The man threw the girl off an overpass and then jumped. The child survived, the father did not. Regardless when a parent is abducting their child they are “not running on all cylinders” Smith said. Smith said that when children are found they can thrive. She related two stories about children who were found that live in the Greater Toronto Area. “One little boy that has been taken when he was four spent four years on the run. He had never been to school or a doctor.
Parental-Kidnapping
Today he is thriving. His father made sure that he had the help and support he needed to go on.” Smith continued, “Another girl had been found after thirteen years. When a child has been missing for such a long period of time they are really strangers to their parents and visa versa. While there were many adjustments that had to be made she is doing okay today.” There is one time that it is wise to take your child and ‘run.’ If you are in an abusive relationship going to a shelter is the safe thing to do. This is legal and in the best interest of both you and your child. This is not parental abduction.
This is a safety issue. Go through the proper legal systems. If you are in danger then get help. Go to a shelter or contact the police. If you don’t think the police will be of help then tell someone like your doctor, your child’s teacher or a school employee about your situation. Above all learn your legal rights.”

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INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE: Changing Japan as a safe haven for parental abductions


June 10, 2012

Source: Asahi.com

In February, 61-year-old Masahiro Yoshida was arrested for “abducting” his 7-year-old daughter from her elementary school in Ehime Prefecture the month before.

It marked the second time that Yoshida, a former professional jazz drummer, was driven to desperation and snatched his daughter, since his ex-wife has parental custody over his daughter, and he is not allowed to have any contact with her.

In Japan, courts do not recognize shared custody, and mothers retain custody in about 90 percent of court-mediated divorces involving minors.

In response to mounting criticism that Japan is a safe haven for parental abductions, the government finally submitted a bill to ratify the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which provides for the return of unlawfully abducted children.

The legislation is unlikely to pass in the current Diet session, as deliberations of controversial bills to hike the consumption tax are taking center stage. But if enacted, the convention, which has 87 signatory countries, will mandate that Japan return children whom its nationals took from other countries in a divorce, unless it harms the child’s welfare.

The public’s perception in Japan is that such post-divorce disputes are taking place only between Japanese mothers and fathers from Western countries. But many Japanese parents now claim that the justice system here is equally tormenting those who lost custody over their children following a divorce.

The case involving Yoshida has much in common with the well-publicized arrest of an American man in 2009 after attempting to abduct his son and daughter and flee to the U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka.

According to Yoshida’s mother, Michiko, an 87-year-old former liquor store operator in Yokohama, it was her daughter-in-law who “abducted” her grandchild five years ago in an attempt to gain parental custody.

Michiko’s son is currently on trial at the Matsuyama District Court.

As Masahiro is likely to be given a prison sentence this time, Michiko said there must be fundamental flaws in the country’s justice system, which made her son a “criminal for just wanting to see his daughter.”

IS “GAIATSU” LAST RESORT?

In a nearly identical case, former family court judge Masanori Watanabe, 53, was arrested for abducting his daughter, then an elementary school third-grader, from a train station in Fukuoka in October 2005.

Watanabe, then a Yokohama-based lawyer, was subsequently given a suspended three-year prison sentence, dismissed from the bar association and cannot practice law.

“I certainly knew the consequences, but I thought it was my last opportunity to persuade her to come back to me when she becomes old enough to make her own judgments,” Watanabe said.

While waging court battles to gain custody of or visitation rights to their children, Yoshida and Watanabe campaigned for the Hague Convention, which they thought would help their causes.

“The convention means Japan’s last chance to review its cruel tradition to completely dismiss one parent’s right over children after divorce,” Watanabe said. “It is also my last resort to clear my name as a kidnapper.”

While the convention does not directly affect Japan-based families, Japanese and foreign parents here who lost custody pin hopes on their hopeful “gaiatsu,” or foreign pressure, scenario.

Lawyer Mikiko Otani, a member of the Legislative Council of the Ministry of Justice on the Hague Convention, said ratification will bring positive changes to the family courts here, which will examine and rule whether to return a child in accordance with the convention.

The family courts will need to examine and rule on what types of child-taking are unlawful and what serves as the best interest of children in ways that are convincing to foreign authorities.

If the expatriation of children becomes a common practice, courts need to break free from traditional reluctance in using force in family conflict cases. It will discourage parents from simply taking away their children, even by force, as is widely occurring today, she added.

“Ultimately, Japan will need to approve a form of shared custody, which is the norm in most of the countries that are signatory to the convention,” Otani said.

But gaiatsu inevitably draws a backlash. To the relief of Japanese parents who flee with their children from overseas, the proposed domestic legislation to set court procedures for a child’s repatriation sets strict criteria for judges to do so.

The vaguest and most potentially controversial clause among the six requirements is that courts need to ensure there will be no possibility that the concerned child suffers “physical or psychological” abuse once returned.

“Can courts expatriate its nationals, minors, over public opinion? I don’t think that can happen,” said a Japanese mother who fought a lengthy, exhausting court battle in Australia with her ex-husband over custody of their two children.

BACKLASH FOR CHANGE

Interestingly, parties opposing the convention, and moves that can lead to the idea of shared custody, include both those from conservative and liberal camps.

Conservatives say that the single custody system is vital to maintaining the integrity of “koseki,” or Japan’s family registry system.

Kensuke Onuki, a lawyer who has represented Japanese mothers who have brought their children to Japan, agrees that one of the divorced parents must back away, in order to make a child’s new environment more stable.

“I don’t think many Japanese can stand the Western way of communication between children and their divorced parents, in which both parents participate in their children’s growing-up process,” Onuki said.

A head of a parents’ group seeking visitation rights said that even many of its group members, mostly fathers, will find it too burdening to fulfill shared custody, given the limited roles they played in child-rearing before their divorce.

Recalling his days on a family court bench in the mid-1990s, ex-judge Watanabe expressed regret that he and his colleagues had no doubts that it serves the interests of children to grant custody to their mothers.

He added that judges believe that courts must respect women’s parental rights, because it was historically denied to them and they had to gain them through postwar feminism.

“I also remember my boss telling me that the court should give men a ‘free hand’ to start a new life by eliminating responsibility to raise their children, and I really did not find much wrong with it,” Watanabe said.

“Now I know how painful, how cruel it is for a parent, regardless of the mother or father, to have their access denied.”

Watanabe added that he knows that the signing of the Hague Convention may be just the beginning of change for Japanese society.

“But I won’t give up, because this is the only way left for me to show my love for my daughter,” he said.

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Child abduction by a parent – it happens more often than one might think


Source: GMW Advocaten

Marjet van Yperen-Groenleer

Child abduction by a parent: it happens more often than one might think

From a legal point of view, child abduction happens when the child is removed from his or her habitual place of residence by one of the parents – or any adult, for that matter, acting on behalf of the other parent – without the consent and agreement of the (other) custodian or parent. 

Although it might not be immediately obvious, not returning the child on time, as agreed, after a holiday abroad or a family visit in the country of origin also counts as child abduction. The same holds good for expat families living in The Netherlands for short periods of time or for families that actually live apart most of the time. However, in these cases  establishing the habitual place of residence of a child is more difficult than it may seem at first sight.

Recent case law indicates an increase in the number of child abduction cases. Although each case has its unique circumstances, the increased dynamics of the global work force may be one reason for this development.

The Hague Convention on Child Abduction is a legal tool that is meant to help a/the custodial parent to regain access to the abducted child, facilitating the return of the minor to his or her habitual place of residence. By appointing a Central Authority in each country, the signatory parties have all agreed to co-operate towards the immediate return of the abducted child to his or her habitual place of residence.

At present, the custodial parent may ask for the assistance of the Central Authority in his or her country of residence, within one year from the date when the child has not been returned. Upon this request, the Central Authority in the country of the child’s habitual residence will contact the Central Authority in the country where the child has been removed to, in order to quickly return the child to its habitual place of residence. It is advisable, however, that the parent also notifies the police, filing an official complaint for abduction.

Sadly, abductions also happen into countries that are not signatory parties to the Convention. As awareness on such cases grows internationally, case law catches up with reality: even when a child has been held against the will of the custodian parent in a country that is not a signatory to the Convention, quite often the Central Authority manages to negotiate the return of the child via diplomatic channels. Needless to say, but good to reiterate: countries that are not signatories to the Convention are under no obligation to co-operate.

The Eerste Kamer ( Dutch Senate) has received a draft law asking to end the monopoly position of the Central Authority in cases of international child abduction. The custodial parent whose child has been abducted might soon be able to take action by ways of hiring a lawyer specialised in such cases, should the draft law be passed. This would hopefully speed up proceedings, also widening the spectrum of available legal tools.

The mere thought of having to deal with child abduction is harrowing and prevention is always better than having to resort to cure. It might be possible to prevent abduction by hiding the children’s passports, keeping the channels of communication with the inlaws open or informing the police. It is essential that the parents’ problems remain negotiable; cross-border mediation has prooved to be succesful. GMW Advocaten has extensive expertise in dealing with cases of international child abduction and is happy to assist the wronged parent.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if your child has been abducted, if you are contemplating the abduction of your child or if you are aware of a situation where child abduction might occur.

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International Child Abduction / Parental Kidnapping – Recovery Services


International Child Abduction is tragically a global epidemic.

Leading experts believe that due to the rapid growth in multi-national marriages and relationships, the number of children born from parents of different countries will continue to expand. Similar to all relationships, a significant portion of these marriages or partnerships will end in divorce. All too often, one of the separating parents of the child of the relationship will seek to abduct the child to a country other than where the child has lived.

This is called ‘International Parental Child Abduction’, and though there are various civil remedies available to targeted parents who have had their child abducted, the challenges they face are grave, and include first and foremost, locating where the child is located. Unfortunately for the majority of targeted parents, the financial burden for recovery and litigation falls on their shoulders. With tens of thousands of children parentally abducted each year, the reality is too many of these children never come home. ABP World Group is dedicated to assisting parents in need of assistance in locating, rescuing, and safely bringing home your abducted child.

Our intelligence and investigation abilities combined with our ability to dispatch personnel to most locations in the world offer a safe and strategic solution to protecting your most important asset: your child.

Areas of expertise:

Parental abduction

Missing children

Kidnappings

Counter Kidnapping

Anti Kidnapping

Runaway children

Reunification 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.

One key to ABP World Group’s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available including, but not limited to:

Electronic Forensic Foot printing Investigations

Intelligence Gathering

Information Specialists/Skip Tracing

Evidence Procurement

Interview/Evaluation

Surveillance Special Ops

Non-Combatant Evacuation Ops

Domestic Support

International Operations

Maritime/Land/Air transport

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