International Parental Child Abduction – Child Recovery Services


May 6, 2013

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

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

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ABP World Group Risk Management – Child recovery

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Child abduction by parent


April 1, 2013

Source: europa.eu

If your child has been wrongfully taken by your former partner to another EU country (without your authorisation or in breach of court decisions in the EU country where you and the child live), you can launch legal proceedings to have the child returned.

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Central authorities Available languages responsible for international child abductions can help you take the necessary steps.

Once the proceedings are launched in the country to which the child was taken, the courts there will order the child to be returned – provided that all legal requirements are met.

Possible exceptions

  • if the child might be in danger in the country where they lived before the abduction
  • if the child is old enough to declare that they do not want to return.

In theory both you and your child should be given the opportunity to be heard by the court during the proceedings.

You cannot reverse a decision on custody by abducting a child and having a court in a different EU country make a different custody ruling.

If you want to try to reverse a custody decision, you must go to court in the country where the decision was taken.

cute_child_$_cat_Wallpaper_y1n5m

Exceptions

These rules do not apply to Denmark or the EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).

Instead, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland are parties to the 1980 Hague Convention on Child Abduction Available languages and abduction cases involving them are treated under this convention or other international agreements.

Sample story

Making sure custody rights are respected

Irena and Vincenzo lived in Italy for 14 years, but are now going through a divorce,. In 2007, an Italian court granted Vincenzo custody of their daughter Alessandra and ordered her to be placed provisionally in a children’s home in Pisa. On the same day, Irena left Italy for Slovenia with her daughter.

A Slovenian court recognised the Italian court order and launched the procedure to return Alessandra to her father, but Irena opposed this decision.

Citing the best interests of the child, the Slovenian court granted Irena provisional custody of Alessandra, on the grounds that placing her in a children’s home in Italy could cause irreversible trauma. Also, Alessandra had expressed her desire to remain with her mother during the court proceedings in Slovenia.

Vincenzo appealed the Slovenian court’s decision and won. Alessandra was returned to Italy.

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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

(646) 502-7443 United States

069 2547 2471 Germany

020 3239 0013 United Kingdom

01 442 9322 Ireland
031-753 83 77 Sweden

PARENTAL ABDUCTOR OFF THE HOOK: Feds drop charges against Long Island kidnap fugitive


January 22, 2013

Source: Daily news

Yvette Torres, who spent 12 years as one of the FBI’s most wanted parental kidnapping fugitives, has been given a pass.

Yvette-Torres

Yvette Torres was arrested in September at Kennedy Airport by FBI agents after she agreed to return from Spain with her now-14-year-old daughter, Sabrena.

The feds have given a free pass to a woman who was once one of the FBI’s most wanted parental kidnapping fugitives, the Daily News has learned.

Prosecutors have dismissed criminal charges against Yvette Torres, whose smiling face was a fixture for 12 years on the FBI’s website.

The author Alice Sebold even used a photo of Torres’ daughter Sabrena and other missing children to illustrate a special edition of her haunting novel “The Lovely Bones,” about a young girl who is kidnapped and murdered.

Torres, 49, was arrested in September at Kennedy Airport by FBI agents after she agreed to return from Spain with her now-14-year-old daughter. She was released on $75,000 bail and faced three years in prison.

Yvette_Torres

The FBI issued this Yvette Torres wanted poster.

The child was turned over to her biological father, Davis Beck of Long Island — who had shared custody of the girl when Torres fled in 2000.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office said the decision to drop the charges was made in consultation with “all the parties.”

“In the interest of the child, this was the best course of action to take,” said spokesman Robert Nardoza.

A source familiar with the case said Torres’ voluntary surrender was a consideration in deciding the outcome of the case, but insisted she was offered no promises by authorities in advance of her arrest.

Torres suffers from bipolar disorder and other physical ailments, said another source.

“She’s a mess, which is one of the reasons she came back,” the source said.

Torres did not return a call seeking comment.

 

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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

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

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

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

Research – Parental Child Abduction


January 16, 2013

Source: Victims Of Violence 

INTRODUCTION

It is estimated that a child goes missing every 9 minutes in Canada. When we think of child abduction, we often picture a stranger snatching our child as they walk home from school. However, the majority of child abductions are committed by someone the child knows and, in many cases, the abductor is a parent. There were 237 parental abductions in 2009, compared to 50 stranger abductions. Parental Abduction is defined as, “the wilful taking of a child with the intent of depriving the other parent, guardian or any other person having lawful care and charge of that child of the possession of that child.”(RCMP). This may at first seem like a benign form of abduction, but it is important to realize that parental abduction is a crime and can have a serious impact on the left-behind parent, the family, and the abducted child.

Child_Abducted_Canada

MOTIVES FOR PARENTAL ABDUCTION

Parents may abduct their children for several different reasons. A common motive is for revenge and as a power play. These parents believe that they have not been treated fairly in a custody battle and may feel misrepresented in court. They will take their child both to hurt the other parent, and simply to assert that they are capable of doing so. Some parents abduct their child out of fear for the child’s safety. This is common in cases where a spouse, usually the wife, is abused by her partner. She will usually take her child to protect him or her from abuse. Shares custody parents may fear that their child is subject to neglect and endangerment when with the other parent.

PROFILE OF ABDUCTORS

There are a number of factors that may contribute to parental abduction including; socioeconomic status, psychological and sociological issues, the relationship between the parent and the child, and the child’s age. The following is a list of characteristics that theRCMP have complied in an attempt to create a general overview of the common parent abductor:

  • Both mother and father are equally likely to abduct their child. Mothers tend to do so after a court order while fathers tend to abduct the child before the court order is made.
  • Mothers tend to keep their abducted child longer than fathers. But most parental abductions are short and are resolved in about 7 days.
  • Parent abductors tend to be between the ages of 28 and 40.
  • Although socio-economic factors vary from case to case, fathers tend to be employed and mothers tend not to be.
  • Most abducted children are young, between the ages of 3 and 7. Children who are taken out of the country are usually older, over 8 years of age.
  • Male and female children are equally likely to be abducted.
  • Children are usually abducted from the home, and abductions usually take place during weekends or holidays (summer, Christmas break, March break.).
  • Various modes of transportation are used and accomplices (commonly other family members or a current partner) are used in about 50% of the cases.
  • Physical or sexual abuse is not common and only occurs in a very small percentage of these abductions.
  • Most ‘left-behind’ parents report the abduction immediately; however some will delay reporting the incident.

Although each case has different circumstances, this general profile provides police with information that will help them to locate and recover the missing child.

ABDUCTION LAWS

Parental Abduction is a criminal offence, and can be found under section 283(1) in the Criminal Code which states:

Everyone who, being the parent, guardian or person having the lawful care or charge of a person under the age of fourteen years, takes, entices away, conceals, detains, receives or harbours that person, whether or not there is a custody order in relation to that person made by a court anywhere in Canada, with intent to deprive a parent or guardian, or any other person who has the lawful care or charge of the possession of that person, is guilty of

  1. an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
  2. an offence punishable on summary conviction.

There are two exceptions to this section:

  1. No one can be found guilty of the abduction offence (under sections 281 to 283) if they are able to establish that there was consent by the parent, guardian or other person having lawful possession, care or charge of that young person.
  2. No one can be found guilty of an offence under sections 280 to 283 if the court is satisfied that the abduction of the young person was “… necessary to protect the young person from danger of imminent harm or if the person charged with the offence was escaping from danger of imminent harm.”

Importantly, a parent who abducts their child cannot make a defence by claiming that the child consented to or suggested the abduction.

Section 282(2) pertains to abduction in contravention of the custody provisions set out in a custody order and is essentially the same as what has been set out in section 283(1). However, if an individual is not proven guilty under Section 282, they can still be found guilty under Section 283(1).

children_safety2

INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTIONS

International child abductions involve either a parent abducting their child and taking them out of the country, or a parent in another country who prevents the child from returning home to the other parent. Revenge is often a strong motive behind this type of abduction, and the abducting parent will often try to turn the child against the other parent by convincing him/her that the other parent does not care for or love them. If you are worried that your child’s other parent may take him/her out of the country, you may notify a local passport office to have your child’s name placed on the passport control list which will put officials on alert (you need to provide certain documentation to do this). If your child is a dual-citizen, however, this may not be sufficient. The media can have either a mixed influence in abduction cases. Media attention may assist in fuelling the international search for a missing child, or it may cause the abducting parent to go into hiding.

THE HAGUE CONVENTION

Over 30 years ago, the international community recognized the need for a program to ensure cooperation between countries as a way to resolve and prevent international parental abduction cases. Canada was the second country to ratify this Convention which came into effect on December 1, 1983. The Hague convention has two objectives. The first is to ensure the prompt return of an abducted child to his/her home country and the second objective is to ensure that the rights of custody/ access to the child under the law of one contracting state are respected in the other contracting states.

The Hague convention may be applicable if:

  1. The child was a resident of Canada immediately before the abduction
  2. The wrongful abduction was in breach of rights of custody/access to the child
  3. At the time of the abduction, the convention applied between Canada and the country to which the abducted child was taken.
  4. The child is under 16 years of age.

If the convention applies to the country (or area of the country) to which a child has been taken, authorities can provide a parent with the appropriate paperwork. The Canadian central authority will forward the documents to the foreign central authority that will then pass them along to the local judicial authority. If the child will not be returned voluntarily, a court hearing may take place. If all conditions are met and no exceptions apply, the foreign court will order the return of the child.

There are some exceptions to the Hague convention:

  • The accused parent is able to prove that the other parent consented to the child’s removal/ later acquiesced to it or was not exercising custody rights when the child was abducted/ retained.
  • The child may be at risk of physical or psychological harm or be placed in an intolerable situation if returned.
  • The child objects to being returned and is old enough and mature enough to have his/her opinion taken into account.

There are no costs associated with The Hague Convention application process; however there may be costs associated with the legal proceedings and travel costs.

There are currently 80 countries who have signed the Hague convention: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, China (Hong Kong), China (Macao), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, FYR of Macedonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

Note: In some countries, the Hague Convention pertains to only certain provinces, states, or territories of the country.

Trafficking-Children-Stop

EFFECTS ON THE VICTIMS

The Left-Behind Family

The first thing that the left-behind family experiences is shock and disbelief. They cannot believe that their loved one has been taken away by a fellow family member. Panic as to the whereabouts of the child and how to get proper assistance will cause both the left-behind parent and any left-behind siblings to experience serious emotional distress.

The left-behind parent often has an incredibly difficult time maintaining work commitments while searching for their child. Feelings of anger, resentment, fear, anxiety, despair, loneliness, and guilt are common emotions. Most left-behind parents also suffer from disturbances in sleep patterns, loss of appetite, and severe depression. The emotional turmoil might also manifest in physical symptoms such as re-occurring headaches and nausea. And in some situations, the parent may turn to drugs or alcohol to handle the pain.

Any left-behind siblings also experience the pain of the loss of their brother/sister. Like the left-behind parents, the siblings also experience a variety of emotions and physical ailments. Since their parent is so focused on the return of the kidnapped child, the other children may feel neglected and develop hostile feelings towards the kidnapped child for taking all of the attention.

The Abducted Child

Despite the fact that the abducted child is with their parent or guardian, the experience can be terrifying and cause long-term damage. Often these children will live the life of a fugitive; dragged around by their parent from place to place in an effort to avoid authorities. The distress of suddenly losing friends and family and having to deal with constantly changing environments is an incredibly stressful experience. Even when the child is safely returned he/she will still be affected by the experience. A fear of abandonment and loss of trust are common issues for children who have been kidnapped by a parent. They may also suffer from depression, loneliness, excessive fearfulness, helplessness and anger. There are a number of mental disorders that are commonly associated with parental child abductions such as separation anxiety disorder, ADHDPTSD, eating disorders, learning disabilities and conduct disorder. As the experience of abduction can have such a traumatic effect on the child, it is important that the parent or guardian get the child proper help as soon as he or she is returned.

HELPFUL TIPS

One of the most important things a parent can do to help avoid parental abduction is to remain on good terms with the other parent and try to remain on good terms with the child’s other grandparents. If you expect that your child is at risk of abduction, make sure to talk to him or her. Explain how the custody situation works, teach them how to use the phone (especially 911 and long distance), make sure that your children know that you love them, and listen to them – information they provide may be your first clue. Keep track of what they wear on a daily basis. Keep records of all important information and store it in a safe place that is unknown or inaccessible to the other parent. As indicated earlier, it is also possible to add your child to the passport control list.

If your child is abducted by the other parent, get in touch with local authorities immediately. Provide them with any information you have and limit access to your home until law enforcement has collected any possible evidence. Contact the birth certificate office to block any application for a birth certificate by the abducting parent (you will need specific documentation to do this). Contact any search organizations such as Child Find and register your child as missing. If you plan to go to the media, ask the police for help and advice on the best way to do so. Most importantly, take care of yourself and your family, you need to be strong for your child and any other children left behind.

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Kidnap threat grows as European economic woes continue


January 12, 2013

Source: commercialriskeurope

The 20,000 kidnappings reported worldwide annually represents a growing risk for business with the economic woes in Europe likely to see incidents rise in countries such as Greece and Italy, Willis warned this week.

kidnapping_02

In its Resilience publication, the broker said the actual number of kidnaps is likely to be far higher than the official figures suggest as many go unreported.

In hotspot Mexico there were over 2,000 kidnaps reported last year, but according to the Council for Law and Human Rights, an NGO that works with families of victims, the true figure is around 18,000.

Earlier this year global security company Red24 noted that official data showed a 9% increase in kidnapping incidents between 2010 and 2011.

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“The threat is growing, the risk is fluid and it can very easily move from one country to another,” said Richard Scurrell, Executive Director at Willis’ specialist kidnap-and-ransom division, Special Contingency Risks (SCR).

A number of factors are driving this increase, primarily inequalities in developing nations. “A lot of the countries where kidnaps occur regularly have a fantastically wealthy element of the population at the top, a very small middle class and a very large poor population,” explained Paul Mills, Executive Director of Security Services at SCR.

As the economic crisis in many parts of the world drags on, so more countries may match this profile, he continued.

Mexico, for example, saw a surge in kidnapping and extortion following the economic crash of 1994, and now Mr Mills fears the risk could return to European countries such as Greece or Italy, where it has not been a serious issue for decades.

“We have already seen incidents of high-net-worth individuals being attacked by more radical elements,” he said.

The growth in income inequality and increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of large multinational businesses is therefore a real issue for risk managers at big firms.

As Willis pointed out: “The latter’s workers make obvious targets for abduction; the former means a growing pool of potential perpetrators.” Kidnapping comes in various guises. Planned events, where perpetrators have watched their target and are well-organised, are distinct from opportunistic crimes, where the kidnapping is an afterthought to a robbery or carjacking.

The latter tend to result in lower ransom demands and shorter detentions, but also tend to be more unpredictable, meaning more danger for the victim.

Latin America continues to pioneer new methods, such as virtual kidnapping. In these instances kidnappers monitoring victims to learn their routines and perpetrators use this knowledge to extort money from families or employers by claiming to have kidnapped the victim when he or she is simply unreachable.

Whilst the majority of large companies in the developed world already have some form of kidnap and ransom coverage, said Mr Mills, many choose not to draw attention to such policies.

kidnapped

Coverage is often not disclosed to employees to stop them becoming targets. Employees can also commit fraud against companies.

“There have been various cases where individuals have apparently been kidnapped, only to be found later hiding out,” pointed out Mr Mills.

Willis argues that the kidnap and ransom coverage is ‘wide ranging’.

Policies usually cover not just the ransom (reimbursed, rather than paid directly by the insurer), but various other expenses involved such as travel costs, medical bills, rewards for informants and time away from work for those released-important considerations, given the length of time kidnapping cases can take to resolve, said the broker.

In addition to kidnapping, insurance also typically covers against extortion, wrongful detention and hijacking.

Added endorsements might include cover for loss of earnings, security costs in the case of threats, product losses as a result of extortion, and emergency repatriation.

Kidnap and ransom policies can also cover the costs of crisis-response consultants in the event of an incident. This is their real value, said Willis.

“The real value of these policies is in the resources that are brought to bear in the event of a kidnap,” said Mr Scurrell. “The overwhelming majority of multinational organisations can afford to pay a ransom, but they’re not likely to have the expertise and experience in-house to deal with a kidnapping.”

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Girl Kidnapped by Mother in 2001 Found After In Dulles Airport from Madrid


July 22, 2012

Source: hispanicallyspeakingnews.com

Girl Kidnapped by Mother in 2001 Found After In Dulles Airport from MadridPhoto: Mother Accused of Kidnapping Daughter in 2001 Captured Arriving on Plane from Madrid

Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport arrested a woman Saturday who has been wanted since 2001 by Los Angeles Police and the FBI for parental kidnapping.

Robin Katherine Resovich, 53, of Penn Valley, Calif. arrived on a flight from Madrid, Spain with a connecting flight to San Francisco, Ca. Travelling with Resovich was her daughter, Katiana Rose Resovich, 18. CBP officers determined Resovich to be the subject of the Los Angeles and FBI arrest warrants for parental kidnapping. The officers verified the validity of the warrant and confirmed extradition. Resovich was arrested by CBP and turned over to Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority Police for extradition.

Imageallegedly had permission to take her then seven-year-old daughter Katiana out of the U.S. for the summer of 2001; however, they never returned. Their whereabouts were unknown until they arrived at Dulles on July 14.

“Parental kidnapping is a serious offense that deprives a person of their parental rights. Regardless of the circumstances in this arrest warrant, Mrs. Resovich is a wanted person and Customs and Border Protection officers are duty bound to return fugitives to justice when we encounter them at our nation’s ports of entry,” said Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington.

No word on what will happen to the daughter since she is now legally an adult.

 

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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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Carjacking Facts – Robbery Prevention Advice


Source: crimedoctor

Carjacking is Robbery

Carjacking is the violent form of motor vehicle theft. It is a serious threat to our personal safety because the thief uses force and fear to rob our car from us. Sometimes the car owner or other occupants are kidnapped during a carjacking, and if lucky will be dropped off nearby unharmed. The worst case scenario occurs when you are transported to a secondary crime scene, which is usually more dangerous than the original confrontation. Those not so lucky victims have suffered other crimes like rape, aggravated assault, and even homicide.

Since the mid-1980s, carjacking has captured the attention of the media with reports of these sudden and violent attacks. Carjackers have unknowingly driven off with infants still in the backseat of the car, leaving behind a screaming and emotionally distressed parent. Other drivers have been violently pulled out of their seats and left lying on the road, terrified by what just occurred.

The crime of carjacking can be traumatic to our everyday lives because it creates fear in the common act of driving a car. Victims of carjacking have reported being unable to drive a car again while others required months of therapy. Others have become so hypersensitive, that embarrassing and dangerous situations have arisen in response to their fear when someone unwittingly approached their car on foot.

How Carjacking Got Started

Carjacking has always been around, especially in large metropolitan cities, we just rarely read about it. The crime of carjacking “took off” in the 1980s after the media published stories of bizarre situations and the violence associated with the crime. The media coined the phrase “carjacking” and the crime of auto theft took on a new identity. After a rush of publicity, other criminals “copied” the crime of carjacking. These copycat criminals must have said, “Hey, I can steal any vehicle I want without damaging it, I get the car keys, and I can rob the owner too. What a concept!”

Another reason carjacking got started is because of the sophistication and prevalence of new anti-theft devices and alarm systems. New car alarms and steering wheel locking systems made it tougher on the auto thief. Chip-integrated ignition switches, engine cutoff devices, and stolen vehicle locators are now more common in cars. Unfortunately for us, poorly motivated and unskilled car thieves have adapted by becoming more violent to get the cars they need and don’t think twice about using force against us.

Sometimes criminals will carjack a vehicle for use in another crime like armed robbery or for a drive-by shooting. These carjackers prefer to have a set of car keys and not have a visibly smashed window or damaged ignition switch that can be easily spotted by the police. This class of car thief is the most dangerous because they are usually heavily armed and are not concerned with your welfare.

How Often Does Carjacking Occur

National carjacking statistics are not available. However, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)* made a telephone assessment of 221,000 households from 1992-1996 to gain an understanding of the extent of the carjacking problem. The biggest problem of tracking carjacking incidents is current police agency reporting practices. Most criminal codes have not adopted this new crime type nor do they track it statistically. Most police jurisdictions charge the crime of carjacking as a robbery since force or fear was used to steal the vehicle directly for the owner. Many police agencies record multiple charges like aggravated robbery, auto theft, assault, battery to one event but usually only the first charge (robbery) gets indexed and statistically tracked. Some jurisdictions charge the crime of carjacking as only an auto theft since a vehicle was stolen.

Since the crime of carjacking is not indexed in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, it is unlikely that we will soon see a national statistic on frequency that is generated from police reports. What we have to work with is the NCVS telephone survey as the source of our data.

From the study of 1992-1996, the NCVS learned that each year 49,000 carjackings and attempts occur in the United States. About half of the reported carjackings were failed attempts. Of the completed carjackings, 92% had weapons where only 75% were armed during the failed attempts. Unfortunately, this statistic tells us that carjackers must be armed to be taken seriously by victims. A handgun was the weapon of choice followed by a knife. Males were responsible for 97% of the carjackings and attempts and were usually carried out by either one or two perpetrators.

Where Does Carjacking Occur

Carjacking can occur anywhere, but is largely a big city problem like traditional auto theft. See my web site on auto theft facts for more information.

Carjacking occurs most often in a busy commercial area where cars are parked and when the owner is entering or exiting the parked vehicle. Most carjackings or attempts (65%) occur within five miles of the victim’s home. The carjacker wants the keys readily available and the car door unlocked for a quick getaway. Carjackers tend to rob lone victims more often (92%), for obvious reasons. According to the NCVS, men were victimized more often than women, blacks more than whites; Hispanics, more than non-Hispanics; and divorced, separated, or never married more than married or widowed. This trend is not surprising given the fact that younger single males tend to take more chances and go to higher risk locations than do married persons. It is unclear whether household income or the value of the vehicle is a criterion in carjacking as the statistics are spread throughout the income levels. However the $35,000 to $50,000 income range had a slightly higher carjack victim frequency.

Surprisingly, the NCVS study indicates that 64% of the daytime carjackings were actually completed, while less than half of those at night were completed. This may be reflective of who is being victimized and who is out at night. About 62% of all carjacking victims took some form of action to defend themselves or their property. Victims were injured about 20% of the time in completed carjackings and about 16% during attempts. Although the statistics aren’t clear, each year about 27 homicides are reported related to auto theft. Also interesting is that 100% of the completed carjack victims called the police, whereas only 57% called to report an attempt carjacking. This variable in reporting is probably related to the desire to get their property back and for insurance purposes.

Popular carjacking locations are parking lots, shopping centers, gas stations, car washes, convenience stores, ATMs, hotels, valet parking, fast-food drive-thru, and outside of retail stores. Close proximity to a freeway onramp is a desirable escape factor from the carjackers prospective. A risky, but popular location for the carjacker is a roadway intersection with a stoplight. A carjacker will jump out of another vehicle, pull open your unlocked drivers’ door, and force you to get out. The type of carjacking allows for a quick escape but increases their risk of being followed by other drivers armed with cell phones. There have been incidents where well-meaning citizens got into a high-speed chase following carjackers and ended up being victims themselves.

The “Bump” and Carjack

Another copycat scheme used by carjackers is to bump your car from behind to get you to pull over and stop. We have all been trained to always stop following an auto accident to exchange license and insurance information. What a perfect scenario for a carjacker!

The carjacker, and his accomplice, will follow the intended victim to a suitable location with good escape routes and few witnesses. The carjacker will crash into the back of your vehicle at low speed and “bump” you with enough force to make you believe a traffic accident had just occurred. Beware of the Good Samaritan. Typically, the drivers of both vehicles pull over, stop, and get out discussing the damage. At this point the carjacker robs you of your vehicle, its’ contents, and drives away. The carjacker’s car gets driven away by the accomplice. Hopefully you won’t be injured during the exchange.

What Should You Do?

Carjacking of parked vehicles depends on the car owner being inattentive to their surroundings. Carjackers, like street robbers, prefer the element of surprise. Most victims say they never saw the carjacker until they appeared at their car door. To reduce your risk of being carjacked, I have listed some common sense steps below:

  • Always park in well-lighted areas, if you plan to arrive/leave after dark
  • Don’t park in isolated or visually obstructed areas near walls or heavy foliage
  • Use valet parking or an attended garage, if you’re a woman driving alone
  • As you walk to your car be alert to suspicious persons sitting in cars
  • Ask for a security escort if you are alone at a shopping center
  • Watch out for young males loitering in the area (handing out flyers, etc)
  • If someone tries to approach, change direction or run to a busy store
  • Follow your instincts if they tell you to walk/run away to a busy place
  • As you approach your vehicle, look under, around, and inside your car
  • If safe, open the door, enter quickly, and lock the doors
  • Don’t be a target by turning your back while loading packages into the car
  • Make it your habit to always start your car and drive away immediately
  • Teach and practice with your children to enter and exit the car quickly
  • In the city, always drive with your car doors locked and windows rolled up
  • When stopped in traffic, leave room ahead to maneuver and escape, if necessary
  • If you are bumped in traffic, by young males, be suspicious of the accident
  • Beware of the Good Samaritan who offers to repair your car or a flat tire. It’s okay to get help, just be alert
  • Wave to follow, and drive to a gas station or busy place before getting out
  • If you are ever confronted by an armed carjacker don’t resist
  • Give up your keys or money if demanded without resistance
  • Don’t argue, fight or chase the robber. You can be seriously injured
  • Never agree to be kidnapped. Drop the cars keys and run and scream for help
  • If you are forced to drive, consider crashing your car near a busy intersection to attract attention so bystanders can come to your aid and call the police
  • Call the police immediately to report the crime and provide detailed information

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Lawyer Liable for $950,000 Judgment in Parental Abduction Case


Source: Lawdiva`s Blog

A lawyer who mistakenly released a child’s passport to the child’s mother, contrary to a court order, has been ordered to pay $950,000 to the father of a child abducted by her client from New Jersey to Spain.

The parents of Victoria Innes, Peter Innes and Marie Carrascosa, were married in Spain in 1999 but resided in the United States. Their daughter, Victoria, was born in 2000. Their marriage ended in 2004. Victoria had both US and Spanish citizenship.

After an acrimonious dispute Victoria’s parents signed an agreement in 2004 that prohibited both parties from international travel with Victoria without the consent of the other parent. The agreement also provided that Victoria’s passport would be held in trust by Ms. Carrascosa’s lawyer.

When Ms. Carrascosa changed lawyers her file was delivered to the new lawyer, however, her new lawyer, Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, was not aware that Victoria’s passport was to held by her and not released to her client without Mr. Innes’ consent or a court order.

Ms. Carrascosa, a lawyer in Spain, took advantage of the situation, obtained the passport from her lawyer and promptly fled to Spain where she and her daughter stayed with Victoria’s maternal grandmother. Later Ms. Carrascosa returned to New Jersey but refused to return Victoria, alleging the Spanish court had jurisdiction and would not let Victoria leave the country until she was 18-years-old.

In the meantime, Victoria’s father had obtained an American order for custody of Victoria and attempted to enforce it, to no avail. Ms. Carrascosa was charged with contempt of court and interfering with custody and was sentenced to fourteen years in prison, where she has been languishing since 2006, determined not to comply with American justice.

Despite all efforts and the involvement of Spanish/ American judicial mediators at the Hague Court in Holland, Victoria remains in Spain.

Parental abduction is the worst form of child abuse. While the Hackensack court undoubtedly meted out strict punishment, so far it has not motivated Victoria’s mother to relinquish her hold on Victoria.

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