Foreign Affairs: Specific Action Plan Needed to Improve Response to Parental Child Abductions
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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When international parental child abduction occurs, left-behind parents can seek the help of the federal government in two ways 1 through a civil process as part of an international effort to gain access to or the return of the abducted child and 2 through a criminal process to bring the abducting parent to justice. The State Departments Office of Childrens Issues is responsible for helping left-behind parents locate and visit their abducted children and for reporting on their general welfare. The Department is also responsible for providing left-behind parents with a point of contact to provide information on the status of judicial and administrative proceedings in other countries and to make contacts on behalf of left-behind parents with local officials in foreign countries. Most cases are handled under civil procedures established by the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of international Child Abduction, which covers 54 countries. See appendix I for a list of the participating countries.
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