A Georgia father feels anguish and frustration over the refusal by India to sign the Hauge Convention, a treaty that facilitates the return of children wrongfully removed from their country of residence. The father’s 3-year-old daughter was taken back to India by his ex-wife during a child custody battle. He obtained a United States court order that granted him custody, but when it came time to enforce it, his children were in India, a country that does not recognize international parental abduction as a crime.
The Georgia father is not alone in his frustration. While the United States has placed a significant amount of focus on the problem of international parental abduction, it has been difficult to work with countries that were not amongst the 80 to sign the 1980 convention. Advocates ask that the State Department and federal government officials place more pressure on Japan and India to work with the United States to return the nearly 400 children wrongfully removed to their respective countries.
The State Department claims that it has made great strides by increasing staff from 18 to 65 people who deal with the abduction cases, and claim that they are in fact putting a high level of pressure on the two countries.
Another father of two abducted children claimed that “if [the State Department] really made it an issue to solve these cases, I believe they could be resolved tomorrow.” He stated his frustration with the government when he declared that they simply “don’t have the will” to deal with the growing problem.
Source: The Washington Post “Japan, India pressed to curb child abductions” David Crary 12/7/10