In International Child Abduction Cases – quiet diplomacy is not working


December 29, 2013

Source:  Washington Post

SEAN GOLDMAN was 4 years old when his Brazilian-born mother took him from their New Jersey home for what Sean’s father, David Goldman, thought would be a two-week vacation. Five years passed before the father again laid eyes on his son.

A_Fathers_Love_Goldman

“It was very painful,’’ David Goldman recalled. “The first time I saw him after nearly five years, he looked at me and asked me where have I been all this time. . . . He was told that I didn’t love him, that I abandoned him, that I never wanted him.”

The only unusual feature of this story is that David Goldman eventually regained custody, though even after the boy’s mother died in 2008 her Brazilian family continued to resist his efforts. He succeeded in part because Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)relentlessly focused attention and pressure on the case. Now a bill written by Mr. Smith, the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act, has been approved by the House, 398 to 0, and is set for consideration in the Senate. But the State Department doesn’t want the additional diplomatic tools the bill would provide.

According to State, 1,144 children were reported abducted from the United States in 2012. There were 1,367 in 2011 and 1,492 in 2010. State Department officials say they work hard to get those children back — or at least to get the cases fairly adjudicated — but they can’t or won’t say how many of those abducted children remain overseas. That raises questions about their claims for success for “quiet diplomacy.”

In a letter to Mr. Smith, Robert E. Wallace, executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), said the abduction of children by a separated spouse is a particular problem for service members, especially in Japan. Mr. Wallace said the service members’ appeals for help “are too often met with bad legal advice, misinformation or indifference. . . . It is time for the U.S. government to take concrete action.” An organization of victimized parents said that the result of quiet diplomacy is “that the Government of Japan has not once assisted in returning a single abducted child.” Japan at least is in the process of acceding to an international treaty on the subject; most countries have not done so.

south_america

 

The House bill provides for a series of graduated sanctions against countries that demonstrate a pattern of non-cooperation; it also would encourage the United States to negotiate agreements with countries that have not ratified the treaty. In both cases, the executive branch would act only if it chose to do so; the bill provides for a presidential waiver. Nonetheless, a State Department official told us putting tools in the tool kit would be counterproductive because U.S. officials would face pressure to use them and other countries would resent the implied threat.

Given the administration’s inability to quantify its success, or to report any results at all, the argument for the status quo is not persuasive. An aide to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told us that the committee will take the measure up soon. We hope soon means soon. For thousands of parents deprived of the chance even to communicate with their children, quiet diplomacy isn’t getting the job done.

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Innocents Abroad: The Rise of Cross-Border Child Abduction by Parents


July 2 , 2013

Source: The Huffington Post

In recent years, the world has seemed a more connected place.

happychild

Palm-sized technology has condensed contact between continents while the flow of people across time zones has increased dramatically.

Experience of new horizons – and the different cultures, cuisines and tongues which comes from it – has made for a more cosmopolitan life.

However, official research and the daily caseload of myself and other family lawyers all too often illustrates that there can be negative consequences.

The number of international family disputes requiring the involvement of UK courts has almost quadrupled in the space of only four years, according to a report published by one of this country’s most senior judges.

The data, which was published by Lord Justice Thorpe, who acts as the Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales, showed there were only three new cases of that type handled by the office in 2007. The following year, the total had risen to 65 but by the end of last year, it had reached 253.

Lord Justice Thorpe said that the matters involved child abduction, adoption and forced marriage and were due, he claimed, to “globalisation, increasing movement of persons across borders, and the ever rising number of family units which are truly international”.

His remarks confirm something which is all too apparent to myself and my colleagues atPannone LLP, as we have remarked upon previously.

The comments are also supported by figures released not by the courts but by Government which evidenced what many believe to be at the heart of the trend which Lord Justice Thorpe is witnessing.

Child_Abductions

Last year, the Foreign Office published its own figures, illustrating that the number of parental child abductions which it had been called upon to assist in had climbed by 88 per cent in a decade.

It revealed that a specialist unit which it had set up to deal with the problem was getting four calls every day, half of which were turning into new cases.

Of course, it is not only relationships forged by individuals of different nationalities which run into difficulties. However, when these partnerships break down, there is often a natural tendency to return to family and familiar surroundings to recover from any feelings of disappointment or distress.

Where children are involved, such matters become more complicated, especially when one or other partner decides to remove them from the country in which they had been resident.

A country’s incidence of these sorts of cases mirror its ties with other states. The Foreign Office cited parental child abductions involving 84 different nations. According to Lord Justice Thorpe’s report, Poland, Pakistan and Spain were the three places which featured most frequently in the disputes which came to his attention.

Once removed, children are sometimes only returned after a complex process which can be long and drawn out. There can be serious ramifications for the families concerned, both legally and emotionally.

Taking a child out of the country without the express permission of a court or the other parent can be a criminal offence. No matter how comforting the prospect of returning to one’s family overseas might seem once a relationship has broken down the consequences need to be seriously considered.

Sadly, my workload and that of other family lawyers specialising in these cases shows no sign of letting up, regardless of the legal and personal consequences. If anything, the increasingly common nature of international partnerships makes further rises likely.

Given the prominence of Poland in figures from both Lord Justice Thorpe and the Foreign Office, it will be interesting to see whether allowing two other East European countries – Romania and Bulgaria – to live elsewhere across the continent without limitation will further fuel the number of international family units living in Britain and the terrible complications of their breaking apart.

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Brazil to Install Border Security Cameras


June 1, 2013

Source: Insightcrime.org

Brazil will install video surveillance cameras along the 17,000 kilometer border it shares with 10 other countries, as part of a national public security strategy aimed at combating organized crime along the frontier.

Border_Security_Brazil

Brazil’s National Public Security Secretariat will provide $13.9 million (29.5 million Brazilian reales) to 60 municipalities in 11 states that border other countries, for the purchase and installation of at least 624 security cameras, Folha reported. Funds will also be used for the transmission systems, video surveillance reception, and the training of system operators. Muncipal, state and federal authorities will work together to review the images

The cameras will be particularly heavily clustered along the border with Paraguay, in the Mato Grosso do Sul, Parana, and Santa Catarina departments, according to Folha’s map.

InSight Crime Analysis

Installing security cameras is part of a wider initiative focusing on Brazil’s border security. Since the implementation of the “Strategic Border Plan” in August 2011, Brazil has reportedly broken up 65 criminal organizations operating along the frontier. Brazil has also signed cooperation agreements with a number of countries, most recently Bolivia, in an attempt to help further secure its borders.

Rio-amazonas

As Latin America’s largest market for cocaine and a transhipment point for drugs going to Europe, border security is a major issue for Brazil. Bolivian and Peruvian cocaine is shipped from Bolivia or through Paraguay, along routes controlled by Brazilian gangs. Human trafficking is also a major problem, leading the government to recently invest in ten new control posts in border towns.

It is worth questioning whether the increased camera surveillance will significantly impact border crime, and whether the cost will be worth the investment. The US has had mixed results with its own expensive border strategy, which emphasized the use of technology. Geographical factors may make surveillance particularly difficult in some regions of Brazil, such as the Amazon. Moreover, evidence from the US has suggested that increased border security in certain zones simply shifts illegal crossings into different areas.

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The Most Dangerous Kidnappers: Parents


January 28, 2013

Source: Abcnews

Despite what seems to have been a rash of children abducted by strangers last year, there aren’t any more than normal, and vastly greater numbers of children are kidnapped by their own parents and relatives — and those cases rarely generate headlines.

sad-child

Stranger abductions make up the smallest percentage of children reported missing every year. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children believes that stranger abductions are decreasing overall and projects that there will be approximately 100 of these kind of cases by the end of this year.

According to statistics cited by the NCMEC, most missing children are abducted by relatives or parents: a soon-to-be released report, the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children, referred to as NISMART-2, finds that 203,900 kids were abducted in 1999 by family members or parents. Approximately, 58,200 were “non-family” abductions — only 115 were defined as the frightening kidnappings by strangers.

Parental kidnappings do not spark media attention — and the sense of urgency from law enforcement officials — that the disappearance of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the kidnapping and slaying of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion and this month’s abduction and rescue of two California teenagers attracted.

Experts say there is a perception among the public and law enforcement that children kidnapped by their parents are not endangered. After all, figures from the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention show that only 4 percent of children abducted by their parents are physically harmed.

“I think there’s a perception with people that, ‘Oh, since they’re with a parent no harm will come to the child,'” said Nancy Hammer, director of the International Division of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “And also since it involves two parents and family, it seems to be a messy situation. It doesn’t seem as black and white as if a child was abducted by a stranger. It’s taken a while, but progress has been made in making these abductions crimes, felonies. But they can lack the sense of urgency in the public and law enforcement reserved for other cases.”

A Very Lucky Recovery

Tracy and Robert Morse had to fight those perceptions when their children were abducted. In December 1996, three of Robert Morse’s children from a previous marriage were kidnapped by their biological, non-custodial mother when they got off the bus at school.

Abducted_Children_USA

“There’s this perception in the public and among law enforcement, that when children are abducted by their parents that they’re safe, and that just isn’t true,” said Tracy Morse, co-founder of American Parental Abductions Resource & Support Organization — APART for short. “These children are separated from everything they know and love, they are forced to live a life of a fugitive, constantly on the run, separated from their identity and their schooling interrupted and often told their left behind parents don’t care about them.

“When my husband’s children were kidnapped by his ex-wife, she pulled up at school and made a big scene at school and everything,” Morse continued. “People who saw her take the children, they just thought, ‘Oh, it’s a domestic thing. We shouldn’t interfere.'”

Tracy and Robert Morse spent more than more than two years trying to find their children and only got a break in their search when the children’s mother remarried and sparked the suspicion of her new in-laws and their relatives. One of her new husband’s relatives went on the Web site for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, saw the faces of the three children and contacted NCMEC officials. The children were recovered and reunited with the Morses in March 1999.

“The kids were a mess, in really bad shape,” said Tracy Morse. “But we were very, very lucky.”

Following their children’s recovery, the Morses founded APART to give parents a resource to both prepare themselves and their children for family abductions and give them guidance as to what to do during those situations. “Left Behind” parents spent so much time trying to figure out what to do when their children are abducted by an ex-spouse or family member, valuable time is wasted. Abductor parents easily flee amid the confusion and shock.

A Mother’s Desperate 28-Year Quest

One woman who wishes she had the Morses’ good luck and perhaps could have benefited from APART when her son was abducted is Marianne Malky.

Malky, founder of Voice for the Children, a Florida-based organization that helps locate and recover missing children, has been searching for her son David for 28 years. Malky said David, then 7 years old, was taken by his non-custodial father, Stephan Shipenberg, during a court-ordered weekend visit in 1974. Shipenberg, she said, called her and told her that she would never see David again.

Malky, who lived in New Jersey at the time, went to Shipenberg’s job at American Airlines in New York City and was told he had quit. She found out he had moved from his Manhattan apartment and ultimately tracked him and David at a new address as they drove away in a station wagon. As she pounded on the car window, that was the last time she saw her son.

Recover_Abducted_Child

Since then, Malky has had little progress in finding David, and she said she has received little help from law enforcement. She was so anxious to get her son back and track him down that she did not file a missing person’s report in New Jersey when he was first abducted. When she tried to file one year later, she was told too much time had passed.

“There isn’t any finding your kids unless you do everything yourself. You basically have to do everything,” Malky said. “No one [from law enforcement] really wants to get involved. ‘It’s too complicated,’ they say. ‘It’s a domestic problem.’ You’re told you need custody papers or you need to go to an attorney to get custodial papers, but what you need are [private] investigators. Custody papers don’t find missing children; investigators do.”

At one time, she said, she received a tip that David was attending grammar school under another last name “Kaplan” and contacted officials. However, by the time she made it to the school, administrators had contacted Shipenberg and he had retrieved David. She has learned that her son attended middle school and high school in Oyster Bay, N.Y., but she says the schools refused to give her access to his records. She also learned that he was in the Navy, but officials would not release any records because of privacy laws.

“In the United States, it’s very difficult to find them [abducted children and abductor parents] because they change their name,” Malky said. “It’s very difficult if you don’t know what their name is.”

Frustration of ‘Left Behind’ Parents

Malky said she has received tips and help from people who believe they have spotted Shipenberg and David over the years. However, she said her quest has cost her hundreds of thousands of dollars and frustrated — experiences commonly shared “left behind” parents.

“You end up broke and physically and emotionally drained,” Malky said. “But I was — am still — determined.”

And lack of resources is an obstacle for parents in family abduction cases. Not everyone has the money to hire private investigators and communication firms to print fliers for their missing children. Often, as time passes and money dwindles, parents are forced to accept that they may never see their children again.

“Unless you really keep the pressure on police, really harass them, you won’t get the updates that you want on your case, and it’ll fall on the bottom of the pile,” said Morse. “You have to turn to private investigators but not everyone has those kind of resources.”

Malky said she never saw David’s abduction coming. His father never made any previous threats, and they had civil discussions about the custody and visitation arrangements.

“I didn’t see this coming. Usually they tell you that they’re going to take your child. I was never told,” said Malky. “But I tell you, all these cases are premeditated. They know where they’re going to go, where they’re going to hide.”

• Family Abduction Safeguards and Warning Signs? Read Below

AMBER Needed for Parental Abductions

New wireless child safety tracking devices have been developed that enable parents to trace the whereabouts of their children. The lightweight devices integrate digital technology from the Department of Defense’s Global Positioning System satellites to pinpoint children’s locations, and many child advocates believe they could prevent child abductions or at least help recover kidnapped children.

Abducted_Children_Mexico

Still, more needs to be done. Experts say parental abduction victims need a program similar to the AMBER alert system, which was credited with helping law enforcement officials to rescue two California teenagers approximately 12 hours after they were abducted at gunpoint, and save an infant abducted from an Abilene, Texas, parking lot last week. Parental abductees have little, if any chance, of being considered for the AMBER alert system because the children’s lives are not considered endangered in most cases.

“The AMBER alert system is great, and they need to develop one for family abductions,” said Morse.

More may also need to be done in the courts when parents are trying to reach an agreement on visitation and custodial rights. Sometimes the early signs of a family abduction manifest during legal negotiations.

“The first instance or signs that people may abduct their children are likely seen in court,” said Hammer. “Maybe if more court officials are trained to pay more attention to certain risk factors, they can identify which child may be at risk and take action and fully inform parents what they face, what will happen if they do abduct their child.”

Child advocates also argue that there should be more severe punishment for parental child abductors — or at least they should be prosecuted to the law’s fullest extent. Stephen Fagan pleaded guilty in 1999 to kidnapping his two daughters, telling them their mother was dead and living under an assumed name for 20 years. He avoided jail time by agreeing to a deal that gave him five years’ probation, a $100,000 fine and 2,000 hours of community service.

Barry and Judith Smiley kidnapped a baby after an attempted adoption of the infant was ruled invalid, and they lived for 22 years under an assumed name, raising the boy they called Matthew Propp as their own son. They avoided trial and possibly 25 years by agreeing to plead guilty to second-degree kidnapping in June. Barry Smiley received a two-to-six-year sentence while his wife Judith was sentenced to a six-month prison term and five years’ probation.

These plea deals, child advocates argue, make would-be parental abductors believe that they would not be risking anything if they kidnapped their children.

White House Weighing In

Many left-behind parents have complained that custody orders have not been readily enforceable when they locate a missing child. Often, they have had to hire two attorneys — one for each state — if the abducting parent has traveled to another state. As the filings go through the court system, the abducting parent may flee the state again without a trace, leaving the wronged parent back where they started, not knowing the whereabouts of a missing child.

According to the Department of Justice, California is the only state that requires district attorneys to take whatever civil remedies and criminal prosecutorial measures necessary to locate and recover children abducted by family members and to enforce child custody orders. In July 1997, the National Council of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws approved the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, which contains a similar mandate. As of February 2001, 21 states had enacted UCCJEA, and it had been introduced to the legislatures in 10 other states.

Some change may begin with attention from the White House. President Bush has announced the White House would hold a first-ever conference on missing, exploited and runaway children in September. Held in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention, the conference will focus on the prevention of child victimization, improving law enforcement policies for handling crimes against children, stranger abductions, and domestic and international parental kidnapping, among other topics.

‘Never an End’

Despite the time that has passed, and the fact that her son is now approaching his mid-30s, Marianne Malky is willing to do whatever it takes to find him. She said she plans to file lawsuits against the schools she suspects David has attended to force them to release his records.

If Malky finds her son, there is a possibility that he will not accept her. It happened to Barbara Kurth, the ex-wife of Stephen Fagan, when authorities tracked him down and prosecuted him for kidnapping. Even after learning that that their mother was not dead and that their father had lied to them for 20 years, Kurth’s daughters stayed by Fagan’s side. Afterwards, Fagan said he abducted the daughters because Kurth was neglecting them and abused alcohol, a claim she denied.

Still, knowing this, Malky remains determined.

“I know he has been told that I don’t care about him, that I don’t love him, but I’m not giving up,” Malky said. “Hopefully, I will win. … The feeling that I and many parents of children who have been abducted is not unlike those whose children have been killed, except that we never have an end. There’s never an end until you find your child.”

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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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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

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

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

UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013

German Phone Number: 069 2547 2471

Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +44 20 3239 0013

Politiet forhindret bortføring til Brasil


Kilde: Bortført.no

Snarrådighet fra politiet i Hordaland forhindret at en to år gammel jente ble bortført til Brasil. Politiet beslagla et ugyldig pass.

Den brasilianske moren har tidligere bortført barnet, men returnerte da frivillig etter tre måneder. Familien ble gjenforent i februar i år, men kort tid etter fikk faren misstanke om at kvinnen planla å bortføre datteren på ny. Jenta er norsk statsborger, og moren hadde ikke tilgang til datterens norske pass. Moren har likevel greid å skaffe til veie brasiliansk pass, trolig  utstedt av den brasilianske ambassaden.

Foreldre med barn som er i risikosonen for barnebortføring bør være oppmerksomme på at mange ambassader assisterer sine borgere med å smugle ut barn, på tross av at barna har norsk statsborgerskap.

Les hele historien her: Bortført.no

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New Brazilian Law defines and punishes parental alienation


Breaking news: Brazil has ratified a law that defines and punishes parental alienation as a form of child abuse

On the 26th of August 2010 the Brazilian Parliament has ratified with immediate effect a law against parental alienation. The law defines parental alienation as a form of child abuse. It provides Brazilian judges and courts with seven measures to deal with parental alienation. Amongst those are fines, contrary custody and/or care and residence decisions and care supervision orders.

Peter Tromp
Father Knowledge Centre Europe 

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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England: Electronic Tagging to Prevent Re-Abduction of Child


Source: internationalfamilylawfirm.com

As a means of preventing international child abduction, the English High Court has issued a consent judgment requiring that a mother be “electronically tagged” before being allowed to visit her child.

The mother had wrongfully removed her child from England to her (unnamed) country of origin on two separate occasions. She had returned the child each time but only after the father had brought Hague Convention proceedings. The child was currently in the care of the father.

The issue before the court was whether the child should spend substantial periods of time with the mother under an interim order, pending a full “best interests” evaluation. The father was fearful that unless safeguards were put in place the mother would remove the child again.

The English legislation that adopted the Hague Convention into domestic law authorizes a court, when an application has been made under the Convention, to give “such interim directions as it thinks fit for the purpose of securing the welfare of the child concerned or of preventing changes in the circumstances relevant to the determination of the application.”

The court approved of an arrangement whereby the mother must be electronically tagged before being able to see the child.

The office of the President of the Family Division of the High Court has devised a procedure whereby electronic tagging can be arranged through the “Tagging Team” of the National Office for the Management of Offenders (NOMS).

Electronic tagging works by monitoring the whereabouts of the person wearing a tag, but only in a specific location. The tag is monitored by a device which needs to be installed in particular premises. That device monitors the tag, and the tagging office is notified if the tagged person is either not in the premises during the relevant times or if the tag is removed.

A tagging order is required to contain the following information:

(i) The full name of the person(s) to be tagged.

(ii) The full address of the place of curfew.

(iii) The date and time at which the tagged person agrees to be at home (and any other relevant places) for the installation of the monitoring device.

(iv) A schedule of the times at which the court expects the person to be at home (or any other relevant places) so that the service can monitor compliance.

(v) The start date of the curfew and, if known, the end date of the curfew, the days on which the curfew operates and the curfew hours each day.

(vi) The name and contact details of the relevant officer to whom the service should report to if there is any breach of the above schedule or if the person appears to have removed the tag.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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CHILD ABDUCTION PREVENTION


CHILD ABDUCTION PREVENTION

The following information is excerpted from The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

In light of the high profile abductions of several children, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) encourages families not to panic. Instead, parents need to empower themselves with information that can help protect their children.

CHILD ABDUCTION: STATISTICS

  • Parental abductions and runaway cases make up the majority of missing children in the United States. In 2002 there were about 797,500 children reported missing, or nearly 2,185 per day. The vast majority of these cases were recovered quickly; however, the parent or guardian was concerned enough to contact law enforcement and they placed the child into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center – a computerized national database of criminal justice information. It is available to Federal, state and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies.
  • Each year there are about 3,000 to 5,000 non-family abductions reported to police, most of which are short term sexually-motivated cases. About 200 to 300 of these cases, or 6 percent, make up the most serious cases where the child was murdered, ransomed or taken with the intent to keep.
  • The NCMEC analyzed more than 4200 attempted abductions from February 2005 to March 2010 and found that 38% of attempted abductions occur while a child is walking alone to or from school, riding the school bus or riding a bicycle; 37% of attempted abductions occur between the hours of 2:00pm through 7:00pm on a weekday; 43% of attempted abductions involve children between the ages of 10 and 14; 72% of attempted abduction victims are female; 68% of attempted abductions involve the suspect driving a vehicle.
  • Research shows that of the 58,000 non-family abductions each year 63% involved a friend, long-term acquaintance, neighbor, caretaker, baby sitter or person of authority; only 37% involved a stranger.

SAFETY TIPS FOR PARENTS:

  • Be sure to go over the rules with your children about whose homes they can visit when you’re not there and discuss the boundaries of where they can and can’t go in the neighborhood.
  • Always listen to your children and keep the lines of communication open. Teach your children to get out of dangerous or uncomfortable situations right away, and practice role-playing and basic safety skills with them.
  • Teach your children in whose car they may ride. Children should be cautioned never to approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless accompanied by a parent or trusted adult.
  • Make sure children know their names, address, telephone numbers and how to use the telephone.
  • Choose babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends and neighbors.

SAFETY TIPS FOR CHILDREN:

  • Always check first with your parents or the person in charge before you go anywhere or do anything.
  • Always take a friend when you play or go somewhere.
  • Don’t be tricked by adults who offer you special treats or gifts or ask you for help.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no and get away from any situation that makes you feel uncomfortable or confused. Trust your feelings.
  • Don’t get into a car or go near a car with someone in it unless you are with your parents or a trusted adult.
  • Never take a ride from someone without checking first with your parents.
  • Never go into a public restroom by yourself.
  • Never go alone to the mall, movies, video arcades or parks.
  • Stay safe when you’re home alone by keeping the door locked. Do not open the door for or talk to anyone who stops by unless the person is a trusted family friend or relative.

INTERNATIONAL PARENTAL ABDUCTION

In situations where parents have not resolved the issue of child custody, and one of the parents has ties to another country, there is the risk that that parent might take the child with them to a foreign country. Parents who are in this situation can find useful information about international parental abduction in “A Family Resource Guide on International Parental Kidnapping” published by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

For emergency assistance contact:

ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

The goal of ABP World Group Ltd. 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.

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Parental Child Abduction and Abducted Children Recovery


Christmas holidays – A time for parental child abductions

The holiday season sees a sharp rise in the number of parental abductions in Australia.  With emotions running high between separated and divorced parents during the Christmas/New Year period, a small number of parents will take the drastic step of abducting their own children.  Most of these children are eventually recovered, but a small number of parents will experience the agony of never seeing their children again. Read more below.

The number of British children abducted by one of their parents and taken abroad is set to double as the holidays start, the Foreign Office has warned.

Read more here: The Telegraph

Airlines Sued for Their Role in Parental Child Abduction

Read more here:Lawdiva’s Blog

Steps You can Take To Prevent Parental Child Abduction

Read the article here: ABP World Group Ltd`s Blog

Parental Child Abduction – Lesson 1

Parental Child Abduction – Lesson 2

For Help and assistance: ABP World Group international recovery services

Follow our updates on Twitter and FacebookOur website: http://www.abpworld.com