Russian court rules ‘abducted’ children to return to UK


November 30, 2013

Source: BBC

A north London mother has won a landmark ruling to get her children back from Russia after they were abducted by their father. Rachael Neustadt, from Hendon, says Ilya Neustadt took their two sons on holiday in December but never returned.

Abducted_Russia

Moscow City Court ruled that Daniel and Jonathan had been illegally kept in Russia in breach of a UK High Court order. Mrs Neustadt said she was delighted by the ruling.

Missing persons

The court said that five-year-old Jonathan and seven-year-old Daniel should be flown back to London. Mrs Neustadt, a former teacher from the US, claims that Mr Neustadt, who was a lecturer at London Metropolitan University, ignored repeated requests from judges in England to return their sons. Interpol also issued missing persons notices for the boys.

The case is the first to successfully use the 1996 Hague Convention on child abduction in England and Russia, which Russia ratified in June and the UK signed last year.

In September, the Russian court told Mr Neustadt to return the two children. He appealed against the decision and lost on Wednesday. Mrs Neustadt said she had campaigned for the last 11 months to bring her sons home.

“I think that day my heart started racing and it hasn’t stopped,” she said.

Every day I think what can I do to bring them back.”

Rachael Neustadt

“Every day I think what can I do to bring them back.

“They liked everything and there’s nothing that tells me that why just because they’ve been given a passport that they are Russians that belong in Russia.”

The boys’ maternal grandmother, Merry Rapp, has been helping care for the youngest son two-year-old Meir, while Mrs Neustadt fights her legal battle.

“It is very confusing for them,” she said.

“They have been told so much that is totally wrong. For example, that your mother no longer loves you. How do you say that and not damage a child? It’s not right.”

‘Hidden problem’

The charity Reunite International, which supports parents, said child abduction was a hidden problem. The group said that its helpline received 8,112 calls last year and the numbers were increasing.

Joanne Orton, the advice line co-ordinator, said: “We had 506 new parental abduction cases reported to us which involved 728 children. We also had 412 new prevention cases involving a further 586 children.

“Travel is easier and cheaper than ever leading to more mixed nationality partnerships than ever.

“Where a relationship has formed with one or both parents originating from a different country to the one they have settled in, if that relationship then breaks down, very often one parent will want to return to the comfort of their family in their native country.”

She added that 70% of abductions were carried out by the mother.

“The saddest fact is, that when a child is abducted whilst both parents suffer as a result, ultimately the one person that suffers the most is the child,” she said.

Mr Neustadt has said he may appeal against the latest ruling.

He said: “We will finally reach some amicable solution based on compromises and not on possible actions that would be completely against the children’s best interests.”

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Christmas A Time of Parental Child Abduction Risk


November 3, 2012

Source: SOS Childrens Villages 

It`s only a few weeks until Christmas. We know that many children will be abducted this holiday season. We urge you to be aware of the risk, and take precautions. Martin Waage, ABP World Group Ltd.

This post is from December 2011.

A European Union official has commented on the region’s work on international parental child abduction at the same time that security actors have warned parents to be vigilant about protecting their children over the holidays.

International child abduction is on an upward trend and the Christmas season is one of the higher-risk periods for parental abduction—particularly when it comes to multi-cultural relationships.

Yesterday, the European Union (EU) Commission Vice-President (Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship), Viviane Reding, made a statement on the issue in Strasbourg.

“Preventing child abduction is an essential part of the EU’s policy to promote the rights of the child. I welcome the initiative of the European Parliament Mediator for international parental child abduction,” she said.

Within the EU, the International Law Association (ILA) Regulation mandates courts within EU member states to not refuse an order to return a child to his or her state of origin, if within the EU.

While the laws do not prevent or solve all cases of international parental child abduction, disputes between EU member states are solved more efficiently and swiftly, Ms. Reding noted.

Among the improvements made to the legal system is the removal of the exequatur rule.  This has allowed for a shorter time period in which courts may recognize and enforce judgments made by another state.

In international cases related to child custody and parental abduction, the Hague Convention applies. All EU member states are state parties to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, and more countries are gradually signing on.

The Convention aims to protect children from the harmful impacts of abduction and retention by providing a protocol for international cooperation for their return to their country of origin.

According to a press release circulated by PR Web, the ABP World Group (which is an international leader in security matters related to child and adult abduction recovery) is warning parents worried that the other parent may illegally leave the country with their child to use new technology, such as GPS tracking devices, to protect their children.

Martin Waage, Managing Director of ABP World Group, stated, “With international child abductions happening at a record pace, ABP World Group urges parents to take every precaution to protect their children from this horrible fate.”

“Tragically, the number of global parental abductions occurring is an unknown due to failures by governments to keep accurate data,” he added.

However, using the situation in the United States as “microcosm” for the rest of the world, there could be as many as 125,000 children illegally abducted between now and 2020. In Canada, these numbers alone could reach 12,000-15,000, based on current reported cases with a modest 20 per cent growth factor, said Mr. Waage.

While Canada is also a signatory to the Hague Convention, though many countries in the Middle East and Asia are not. 

 

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