Foreign Affairs: Status of U.S. Parental Child Abductions to Germany, Sweden, and Austria
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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The State Department estimates that about 1,000 children are abducted by one of their parents from the United States annually. Pursuant to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of international Child Abduction, left-behind parents can apply for the return of, or access to that is, visitation,their children located in countries that are parties to the Convention with the foreign countrys government through the Department of State. The Convention governs how these applications are handled and adjudicated in the foreign country where the child is located. A May 2000 congressional resolution cited several countries, including Germany, Sweden, and Austria, for not meeting their commitments under this Convention. In response to your concerns involving German, Swedish, and Austrian handling of U.S. cases, the General Accounting Office GAO obtained information from State Department files to determine the status and outcome of cases initiated by parents left behind in the United States from January 1995 through May 15, 2000. GAO gave a briefing on the results of its work on August 29, 2000. This report summarizes the contents of the briefing.
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