International child abduction on the increase
News article published on: 20th June 2012
Cases of a parent feeling with their children to a different country are on the increase a recently report has revealed.
The Office of the Head of International Family Justice annual report said there were 27 cases in 2007, 92 in 2010 and 180 in 2011
The office intervenes in disputes over children, such as custody, when the parents are in different countrie and helps judges and lawyers when cases have come to a stand still because two countries’ legal systems are involved and when international conventions on children’s rights are being fignored by overseas courts.
Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales, Lord Justice Thorpe, said most cases involved eastern European countries.
Lord Justice Thorpe said: “The tendency of dangerous parents to bolt when social services are exercising legitimate protective powers is all too common.
“We are seeing a rising number of these types of cases being referred to the office, mostly involving eastern European countries.”
Lord Justice Thorpe went on to say that with almost two-thirds of children born in London in 2010 having a foreign parent there was “the potential for significant future growth” in cases.
Sharon Cooke from the international child abduction charity, Reunite, said the increasing ease of travel was a factor in the rise in case numbers as was the rise in mixed national marriages, which if breaks up sometimes see’s one parent remove the child to their country of origin.
Simone McGrath, family law solicitor at Osbornes who specialises in child abduction cases comments:
“Seeking legal help if your child has been taken to a foreign country without your consent by the other parent is urgent. If your child has been taken to an EU country which subscribes to the Hague Convention or the European Convention, an application can be made to the country your child has been taken to for your child to be returned”.
Generally speaking, these conventions recognise that the child’s best interests are served by remaining in the country where they have grown up.
“If your child has been taken to a country that does not subscribe to these international agreements, we can assist you in obtaining advice on the laws in the country where your child has been taken to and how to make an application for the return of your child under those laws”.
If you are worried that your child is under threat of being abducted or has already been abducted contact us urgently for assistance.
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