Department Of State’s Annual Report Highlights Risk Of Parental Child Abduction

July 14, 2016


The U.S. Department of State reported yesterday that more than 600 children were abducted by parents from the United States to another country in 2015.


A substantial number of those children may never be returned to their parents in the United States. The Department of State’s 2016 Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction released yesterday reported that only 299 children whose habitual residence was in the United States were returned in 2015.

The staggering numbers contained in the Report make it clear that parents must proceed with caution if they believe the other parent has any intention of abducting their child from the United States. Any parent who has concerns about the other parent abducting their child should immediately consult with an attorney who has knowledge and experience handling proceedings brought pursuant to the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at the Hague on October 25, 1980.

An experienced attorney may be able to advise the parent on preventive measures such as enrolling the child in the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program and seeking a court order enjoining the other parent from traveling abroad. If the child has already been abducted, an experienced attorney can assist with submitting the necessary papers to request the return of the child, liaise with counsel in the country to which the child has been abducted, and provide assistance to that foreign counsel as necessary to seek the return of the child to the United States.

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In addition to identifying the number of children abducted by a parent from the United States to another country in 2015, the 2016 Annual Report assesses the extent to which certain Hague Convention partners have complied with the Convention. The Department of State reported that the following countries have not complied with the Convention: Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, and Romania. In determining whether the Hague Convention partner countries were in compliance, the criteria examined by the Department of State included the following: the number of unresolved cases; the extent to which the judicial authority implemented and complied with the Hague Convention provisions; the failure of law enforcement to locate abducted children; failure to enforce return orders; and the amount of time devoted to the appeals process.

The 2016 Annual Report also details the extreme difficulties in attempting to seek the return of abducted children from countries that are not Hague Convention partners. According to the Report, countries that demonstrated a pattern of noncompliance in 2015 were: Egypt, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, and Tunisia. For each of those countries, the Department of State examined the extent to which the country did or did not adhere to any protocols with respect to international child abduction.

The 2016 Annual Report is available here.

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Parental Abduction: U.S. man faces up to 36 years in prison for abduction that ended in Brandon

October 10 , 2014


Harsh sentence prompts questions about Kevin Maryk’s 4 year sentence for kidnapping his children


A Colorado man who abducted his son from his estranged wife’s home and drove to Brandon, Man. is facing 36 years behind bars.

According to media reports out of Colorado, Monty Turner and his lawyers struck a deal in the Boulder County Justice Center on Wednesday.

​​Turner, 52, was set to stand trial on 16 criminal counts for taking his then-three-year-old son, Luke, on May 25, 2013.

Instead, he pleaded guilty to four charges: second-degree kidnapping, felony menacing, use of a stun gun and violation of custody. The sentencing hearing will be held next month.


Monty Turner pleaded guilty on Wednesday to second-degree kidnapping, felony menacing, use of a stun gun and violation of custody. The plea deal calls for 36 years in prison. (Longmont police)

​In May 2013, Turner assaulted his ex-wife with pepper spray and a stun gun, then took Luke and drove 1,500 kilometres from  Longmont, Colo. to the western Manitoba city.

He was arrested at a Brandon motel shortly after checking in. Luke was not hurt and was returned to his mother.

Turner’s father, Ronald, was convicted in April for helping to plan and orchestrate the kidnapping. In June, a U.S. judge sentenced him to 27 years behind bars.

It’s not known yet exacty how many years Monty Turner will serve.

In his plea agreement, Turner agreed to 36 years, but that includes guilty pleas for other violent crimes, such as felony menacing, use of a stun gun and violation of custody, as well as the kidnapping.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 21

Harsh U.S. sentence raises questions about Canadian courts

The sentence Turner may serve is raising eyebrows at the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

Kevin Maryk was sentenced in Winnipeg last month to four years behind bars for abducting his two children and taking them to Mexico for four years.

Maryk was sentenced in September, but he was also given credit for time served. He’ll be out in less than a year.

Christy Dzikowicz of Winnipeg-based Canadian Centre for Child Protection said comparing the two cases raises questions about how seriously Canadian courts view parental abduction, given Maryk’s four-year sentence.

“It seems like a very inadequate response to the crime that was committed when we see these sentences come out of the U.S.,” she said. “It really underscores where we really need to make some changes on our side.”

Dzikowicz said it’s disappointing.

“We have a long way to go for people to recognize how serious a crime it is to remove children. It’s not a matter of, you know, they’re with a parent, so it’s not so bad. It is bad.”

Maryk’s ex-wife, Emily Cablek, said it’s clear U.S. authorities take the issue of parents abducting their children much more seriously.

“I mean it is really surprising,” she said. “Canada has a long way to go. The Canadian laws are very, very sad and disappointing.”

Cablek said even though she has full custody of her children now, she is afraid Maryk will try to take the children again when he gets out of jail.

“I don’t want to lose my kids again and I will say, they don’t want to see him,” she told CBC. “It’s hard because I hope he doesn’t put us through another custody battle, I hope he doesn’t take more years away as a family.”

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Parental child abductions have ‘risen by 88% in a decade’

December 12, 2012

Source: ITV

  • Cases of parental child abduction have risen 88% in just under a decade (2003-2012), the FCO have said.
  • 24% of Britons are unaware parental child abduction is a crime.
  • The FCO’s child abduction section received an average of four calls a day between October 2011 and September 2012.


  • The FCO also pointed out that parents may suffer severe financial difficulties as they fight for custody of their child through foreign courts.
  • Further illustrating public misunderstanding, nearly three quarters of those surveyed (74%) thought fathers were more likely to abduct children.
  • But, according to statistics from the Reunite International Child Abduction Centre, 70% of the charity’s cases concern mothers taking the child.
  • There are skewed opinions over where children were taken – 71% thought parents most commonly abduct their children to the Middle East, India or Pakistan.

A worldwide problem

Parental child abduction – where a parent takes a child without the permission of those with parental responsibility – is now a worldwide issue. In 2003/04 we worked on cases in 51 countries; now cases relate to 84 different countries, showing just how widespread the problem has become.

We also fear that these statistics are just the tip of the iceberg; many cases go unreported as parents seek custody of their children through foreign courts.

Raising awareness

Public understanding of parental child abduction is alarmingly low.

The research we commissioned shows that half the UK population believes the government can intervene to order the return of a child to the UK if he or she has been abducted by a parent.

The reality is that whilst help is available, parental child abduction cases can take years to resolve. This has significant impact on those concerned and there is the strong possibility that the child may never be returned.

It is also much harder to return a child from a country that has not signed the 1980 Hague Convention, an international agreement between certain countries which aims to ensure the return of a child who has been abducted by a parent.

Legal and financial reality

Despite parental child abduction being against the law, a quarter (24%) of people do not think, or are unaware, that it’s a crime for a parent to take their child overseas without the consent of others with parental responsibility.

When asked which parent they thought was more likely to abduct a child, three quarters (74%) of people thought it was fathers.  Yet according to statistics from the Reunite International Child Abduction Centre, 70% of the charity’s cases concern mothers taking the child.

As well as this emotional distress, both parents may often face severe financial difficulties as they fight for custody of their child through foreign courts. The statistics show that people tend to underestimate just how much getting a child back costs, including legal fees overseas and in the UK which may continue to mount up even after  the child is returned to this country.

There also seems to be a lack of awareness about who pays the costs of resolving a parental child abduction case involving a non-Hague country. Sixty-two per cent either didn’t know or responded with the wrong answer, and only 38% answered correctly by saying it was the parents who would pay, not the UK Government.

The expert view

Daisy Organ, head of the Foreign Offfice Child Abduction Section said:

“The increase in parental child abduction cases is a major cause for concern, particularly in the lead up to the school holidays; we know that before or during school holidays is one of the most common times for a child to be abducted. We hope that this campaign will help inform and educate the UK public and encourage parents thinking of abducting their child to think twice before they cause significant distress to themselves and their family. “

Alison Shalaby, Chief Executive of Reunite, said:

“It is important to remember that parental child abduction is not faith or country specific. 71% of the UK public thought that parents most commonly abduct their children to the Middle East, India and Pakistan but it can happen to anyone, from any background. Countries where children are abducted to can range from Australia, to France, to Thailand.

“We have seen a 20% increase in calls made to our helpline in the first half of 2012 compared to 2011  and a 67% increase in the number of children who have been abducted by a parent to a non-Hague country between 2001 and 2011.

“This issue is not going away and with a 47% increase in the number of child abduction cases Reunite has worked on between 2001 and 2011, we are urging parents to think twice before they abduct their child or seek help if they think their child is at risk.”

Contact information

If you are concerned, or if your child has been abducted, you can call the FCO’s Child Abduction Section on 0207 008 0878 or visit, or Reunite on 0116 2556 234.

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Child Abduction Statistics


About 260,000 children are abducted every year in the United States of America. Of these child abduction only about 115 result in very serious consequences, like injury or death.

The number of children reported missing in the U.S is about 800,000 every year. But this figure can be misleading, as it includes many trivial incidents like overstaying with a parent.

Break up of child abduction statistics

  • 800,000 children are reported missing every year. That is about two children every day.
  • Of the children reported missing, 350,000 are family abductions. That is, they are taken away by family members in violation of custody agreements.
  • Non – family abductions amount to 204,000. These include kidnappers who are acquaintances or complete strangers to the victims.
  • Only 115 of non-family abductions are stereotypical abductions, defined as those in which a child is detained overnight, transported atleast 50 miles, held for ransom or intended to be kept permanently or killed.
  • The rest of the 800,000 missing cases include runaways, throwaways, or lost children.

Family child abductions

  • In 16% of family abductions, the child experiences severe mental harm.
  • 8% of the children experience physical harm.
  • 7% of the children are sexually abused.
  • Mothers take the child away 46% of the time.
  • Fathers take the child away 54% of the time.

Non-Family child abductions

  • More than 65% of the children abducted by non-family members are girls.
  • 46% of children are sexually abused.
  • 31% of the children are physically abused.
  • 32% of abductions take place in a street or a car and 25% take place in a park or a wooded area.
  • The top 3 places an abductor imprisons the child are – a car, the abductor’s home and the abductor’s building.
  • Most abductions are carried out within a quarter of a mile of the child’s home.
  • 75% of the abductors are male.
  • 67% of them are below 29 years of age.

Stereotypical kidnappings

  • 40% of children in stereotypical kidnappings are killed.
  • 4% of children are never found.
  • 79% kidnappings are carried out by strangers and 21% by acquaintances.

Nearly 75% of the parents in U.S fear that their children might become victims of abduction.


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