Do Not Blame Non-Signatory Countries: Take Your Own Preventive Measures to Protect Children from International Abduction
Posted: 6 Apr 2011
Date Written: September 13, 2010
This Note recommends a preventive legal measure to protect children from international abduction rather than the existing post-abduction remedies. The Hague Convention of International Child Abduction has limited ability to help the left-behind parent when another spouse wrongfully removes a child because the Convention lacks enforceability. To supplement the Hague Convention’s post-abduction remedies, this Note proposes a practical pre-abduction measure, an e-Child database program that judicial, legislative, administrative, and enforcement agencies could share. This Note recommends that each country, regardless of its signatory status to the Convention, set up a child protection package that guides international, domestic, and private measures to prevent abduction in the first place.
International measures include the accession of the Hague Convention, the efforts to press non-signatories to join the Convention, the initiation of customized bilateral agreements for non-signatory countries, active participation for the international judicial networks, international mediation, and utilization of INCADAT and iChild project.
My proposal supplements the post-abduction remedies by implementing domestic measures, including the e-Child program, a strengthened border control system, which will work affirmatively with other measures. The e-Child program I propose will require sufficient funding for the government agencies to operate this program, and broad cooperation with non-profit organizations.
Additional proposed prevention measures include promoting awareness of potential child abduction to the public, notifying the public of their ability to register in the e-Child program, preparing the proper documents in the anticipation of custody dispute, and attending educational seminars. There are neither spotless remedies nor perfect measures that will eradicate international child abduction.
Nevertheless, my proposed e-Child program is a necessary step to fill in the existing gaps in available remedies for parents suspecting child abduction. An overall child protection package with the introduction of the e-Child program is the best way to protect children from international abduction.
Keywords: International Law, Child Abduction, Parental Child Abduction, The Hague Convention, The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Preventive Measure, Remedy, Family Law, International Marriage, Divorce
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