Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

International Parental Child Abduction

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "International Parental Child Abduction"— Presentation transcript:

1 International Parental Child Abduction
A Holistic Approach Ann Wollner Rosa Saladino

Parent taking or keeping child overseas without other parent’s permission, or court order parents separated, father comes to pick up the child for the weekend and mother and child have vanished father takes child to visit sick grandfather in England and never comes back

Other names Parental kidnapping Child snatching Child stealing IPCA It’s NOT Child Slavery Child Trafficking

4 COMMON SITUATIONS One parent comes from overseas (44.2%-2011)
Escaping from family violence Revenge Parents separating and family and support overseas New born baby and family and support overseas Separating and father thinks Australian family law gives the mother too many rights

5 IS IT A REAL PROBLEM? Stats Effects

6 IS IT A REAL PROBLEM? Australian Statistics-150 p.a.(min)
1.Around 150 Hague applications to and from Australia filed each year. About double not filed or to countries not covered by the Hague Convention. 2. About 350 inquiries at ISS per annum 3. No stats collected on non Hague countries since 2003

7 IS IT A REAL PROBLEM? United States 1,700 p.a.
US Stats include abductions worldwide not just Hague Countries

Many people affected CHILD-“I was scared whenever there was a knock at the door. I am still scared now.” LEFT BEHIND PARENT- “Everything hurt me. It was as if I had no skin on my body.” ABDUCTING PARENT- “The return order felt like a guillotine.” LEFT BEHIND RELATIVES-”I felt loss and outrage. A thread of our family had been snapped.”

Pre abduction Abduction Post Decision Vary according to stage Short and long term effects- absolute torture you never get over

10 IS IT A REAL PROBLEM? Child Abuse
Harms the child Loss of love and contact with half his family Loss of friends and community Loss of stability and consistency Loss of language, culture, name and nationality Causes psychological and emotional trauma Problems with anger, trust, abandonment, identity, helplessness and fearfulness Long lasting effects Children are egotistical and often assume responsibility for abduction Problems with school, depression, violence, drinking, self hate, loneliness Childhood stolen In many cases already dealing with conflict associated with family breakdown. Often continuing conflict on return

11 IS IT A REAL PROBLEM? Left behind parent
Parenting Fear Anger Relationships Stress from Relationship breakdown Pre abduction Abduction Post Decision Pre Abduction- Often dealing with anxiety and depression from relationship breakdown Abduction- inability to continue with life; unable to function, physical symptons of stress (loss of hair, illness, unable to concentrate), loss of job and consequent economic and social difficulties. Post Abduction- Fear of re-abduction, caring for children (feeling depleted, children angry); pressure and expense of further litigation, powerlessness; new relationships impeded (fear of reoccurrence; increased suspicion, redirected revenge) Devastation Depression Despair legal

12 IS IT A REAL PROBLEM? Abducting parent
Revenge Post natal depression Fear Parenting Isolated Anger Relationships Pre abduction Abduction Post Decision Further litigation- relocation or not- Futility, isolation, impoverishment, fear of violence, impact on health, impotence Insecure Depression guilt Relief

13 Paul is aged 6. Paul and his parents, Carmen and Roberto are nationals of Spain, but came to live permanently in Melbourne in They have relatives, including Paul’s maternal grandmother in Melbourne Paul and Carmen separated in June 2012 and Carmen repartnered in January During the period leading to separation, Roberto threatened to kill himself if the separation went ahead. Carmen and Roberto managed to agree on parenting arrangements, whereby Paul lived with Carmen and spent weekends with Roberto. Carmen had a nagging feeling that Robert might try to take Paul back to Spain, so she sought legal advice. The legal advice was to secure his passport in a safety deposit box. This she did. Unbeknownst to Carmen, Roberto went to the Spanish consulate and secured another passport for Paul claiming that his passport had been lost. During one of Paul’s weekend visits with Roberto in February 2013, Roberto took him and flew back to Spain. Carmen discovered this when Paul wasn’t returned as scheduled at the end of the weekend. When Paul hadn’t come home by 9.30 pm, she went to Roberto’s house and tried texting him. His house was dark. She called around to the hospitals. She texted that if she didn’t hear from him within 30 mins she would go to the police. Around midnight the frantic Carmen went to the police to report Paul and Roberto missing. While she was there she got a call. Her caller id indicated that the call was from Roberto’s sister Susan who lives in Spain. When Carmen answered the call, Roberto was on the line and told her that he and Paul were in Spain and if she tried to get Paul back, he would take Paul and disappear. While Paul has been in Spain, Roberto has allowed him to speak to Carmen every second day. These calls are always monitored on loud speaker. Roberto has allowed Paul one contact with his uncle who lives in Spain. He has told them that his father has threatened him that if his mother tries to get him back to Australia, his father would take him away and he would never see his mother again. Roberto told the uncle that the removal was an act of revenge, to destroy Carmen’s happiness Paul’s abduction

14 SERVICES REQUIRED SERVICES LEGAL SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION MEDIATION Situation- Desperate, distraught mother, an unstable father and a child wrenched from his mother, family friends and community. Terrified that he may never see his mother again.

LEGAL SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION MEDIATION International Social Service is a not for profit organisation which operates through a network of branches in about 140 countries. It is guided by international conventions focussing on children and families. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Hague Convention on International Child Abduction Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions Hague Convention on Protection of Children In Australia, it operates nationally from offices in Melbourne and Sydney. It offers a broad set of IPCA Services (brochures available at conclusion) The legal and social work services are funded by the Federal Attorney General’s department and are provided free to clients. The documentation preparation relates to children like Paul removed from Australia to one of the 89 Hague Convention Countries The mediation service is endorsed by the Federal Attorney General’s department and Family Law Courts. It is provided to clients at an affordable price. The education and training services are provided at reasonable rates. We have experienced practitioners who provide professional, non threatening, non judgmental, non discriminatory and ongoing services.

Pre abduction Abduction Post Decision ADVICE HAGUE CONVENTION NON HAGUE CONVENTION APPLICATION REFERRAL MEDIATION LAWYERS ADVICE PACE ALERT REFERRAL LAWYERS MEDIATION ADVICE FAMILY LAW RELOCATION PACE ALERT HAGUE CONVENTION NON HAGUE CONVENTION Refer to Paul’s Case Preabduction- Prevent abduction Mother and father needed advice about Australian family Law (especially relocation) and the application of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Mother needed advice about the PACE Alert and need to place Paul’s name on the Airport watch list. Lawyer needed advice about the PACE Alert and need to place Paul’s name on the Airport watch list. Abduction Advice about Hague Convention process (adversarial and conflictual) and mediation Advice re abduction to non Hague Convention countries ( Egypt and Lebanese agreements) Referral to mediation Preparation of Application, involves instructions Post Decision and return Advice about PACE Alert Referral to lawyers and mediation (Parenting arrangements). Return under Hague Convention does not determine merits of the case. It determines jurisdiction

Pre abduction Abduction Post Decision SUPPORT COUNSELLING SOCIAL WORK CHILD PROTECTION REFERRAL MEDIATION LAWYERS NETWORK PARTNERS SUPPORT COUNSELLING REFERRAL LAWYERS MEDIATION GROUPS REFERRAL FAMILY LAW FAMILY VIOLENCE PACE ALERT ADVICE HAGUE CONVENTION NON HAGUE CONVENTION In Paul’s Pre Abduction- Prevention/ Deterrent Mother and father advice about Hague Convention Referral to lawyers regarding PACE Alert, Family Law, Hague Convention Abduction Mother – counselling support during Hague process, referral to mediation, lawyers, support groups, liaised with lawyers Child – Protective concerns- liaise with ISS Network in Spain, connection with Child Protection Services Family members- counselling Post Decision (Return or not) Economically and emotional depleted Mother/ father/ child-refer to counselling, lawyers and support groups (ongoing trauma and response) Mother- plan for conditions on return, reintegration of child, ongoing support

Pre abduction Abduction Post Decision MEDIATION RETURN VOLUNTARY COURT ORDERED ACCESS INTERIM FINAL Mediation preferable to all involved because facilitates improved ongoing relations More satisfactory resolution than court imposed decision Child’s wishes given more consideration Can be attempted Prior to start of court proceedings During court proceedings Can deal with Overall resolution Interim resolutions Offered to Carmen and Roberto but declined. Court in Spain ordered mediation prior to considering the case.

19 IPCA ISSUES Delays in return
Non contact/ alienation Unenforceability of conditions in return orders “ toilet paper” Increased conflict Ongoing trauma Number of non Hague countries Unevenness in Hague Jurisdictions Delays Hague Convention- Meant to be hot pursuit process (6 weeks). Not meant to be merits based. Orders child back so country of Habitual residence can decide on the best interests of the child. Delays in outcome because of inability to locate child, overloaded government central authorities and courts, use of delaying tactics by abducting parents (including appeals) Delays provide opportunity to denigrate parent, deterioration in relationship between child and left behind parent, increased difficulties on return. Conflict Difficulties of process, lack of trust, Court involvement and associated ongoing lack of trust increases conflict and compromises the development and wellbeing of the child. Number of non Hague countries 89 Countries have signed convention. Main omissions- China (except Hong Kong and Macau); Muslim countries (Lebanon and Egypt agreements); India; Japan Unevenness of Hague Jurisdictions New Zealand, United Kingdom and Unites States responsive Non compliant- South American Countries-Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, the Bahamas Non enforcement- Argentina, Brazil, France. Mexico, Poland and Romania.

20 Questions ????

Download ppt "International Parental Child Abduction"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google