Canada: Father embraces opportunity to speak with young son for first time in years



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An Alberta man looks forward to reuniting with his son following a separation that lasted more than three years while authorities searched for the boy throughout Central America.

“It was just so huge and exciting to finally get that call we’ve been waiting so long for.”

Chad, whose last name is being withheld in order to protect the identity of his four-year-old child, says the last time he saw his son was in January of 2014.

Chad’s ex-wife, the boy’s mother, sent him a text message indicating she had fled the country with their son and had no plans to return to Canada.

The father was awarded sole interim custody of the 11-month-old and arrest warrants were issued for the woman, whose name is protected under a publication ban, on charges of parental kidnapping.

The woman was tracked throughout Central America but remained on the run for more than three years. Last month, police received information she and her son were living in San Ignacio, Belize. Local authorities apprehended the suspect on charges related to improper immigration documents and she was returned to Canada.

The boy remains in Central America under the care of Belize Human Services. Chad has had an opportunity to speak with his son by phone and video calls.

“It was such an emotional moment for me getting to hear his voice the first time,” said Chad. “Then I even got to see him and that was just so exciting.”

Chad says his son appeared happy and healthy. Plans are underway to reunite the father and son in Canada, despite the boy’s weather-related concerns.

“He’s under the impression that it’s cold up here and it snows all the time in Canada so he’s trying to get ready for the snow,” said Chad with a laugh. “He likes airplanes and he likes flying kites, but he can only do it when it’s windy down there, which is fairly rare.”

“I just reassured him Lethbridge is windy so he’ll get to fly kites up here.”

The boy’s mother has been charged with child abduction and remains in custody. Chad says he would consider allowing his ex-wife supervised visits with their son.

“Her being the only person he has really known for the past few years, it’s not fair to him to just take that relationship away,” explained Chad.

Chad hopes to resume a normal family life with his son at his side. “It’s going to be just a huge adjustment for us here but a really good one.”

The boy’s mother is scheduled to appear in Lethbridge Court on August 15.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to or from Canada or Belize please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

Canada / Belize: Canadian woman arrested in Central America in parental abduction case


 

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A woman who has been on the run from police for the last three years after kidnapping her son and fleeing the country has been arrested in Belize and returned to Canada to face charges.

Lethbridge police launched an investigation in January of 2014 after Robin Leanne Greenway-Trockstad failed to drop off her 11-month-old son, Treyson, to her ex-husband for a court-ordered visit.

Investigators say she then sent a text message saying she had left the country.

A couple of days later, a court order gave Treyson’s father sole interim custody and his mother was ordered to return the boy to Canada.

The order was also emailed to Greenway-Trockstad and family members who were in contact with her and police say they made several attempts to reach her but she did not respond.

In February 2014, Greenway-Trockstad was charged with child abduction and an arrest warrant was issued.

Investigators tracked her and her son to Mexico, Guatamala and Belize and say she has moved around Central America over that last few years to intentionally evade capture.

“One of the significant challenges of an international investigation is navigating foreign bureaucracy,” said Sgt. Cam Van Roon, a member of the Criminal Investigation Section and the primary investigator.  “The agencies we worked with were all very cooperative and helpful, but the laws, rules and regulations they are bound by sometimes differ from ours so there was a lot of red tape that caused delays and those delays often resulted in the accused being able to move before authorities were able to apprehend her.”

Lethbridge police were contacted on July 19, 2017 with information about the wherabouts of the mother and son.

Belize police were able to locate Greenway-Trockstad and Treyson, now four, in San Ignacio in the Cayo District and they were taken into custody.

Greenway-Trockstad was moved to a jail in Belmopan and fined for failing to produce valid immigration documents.

She was deported to the U.S. on August 9th and arrested and then returned to Canada where she was taken into custody by Lethbridge police at the Calgary airport.

The little boy was placed in the care of Belize Human Services and will return to Canada with Global Affairs officials where he will be reunited with his father.

“This has been an extremely lengthy and complex investigation but we are pleased to be one step closer to being able to return this young boy to his father and family in Canada who have been waiting more than three years to get him back,” said Van Roon.

Robin Leanne Greenway-Trockstad, 33, is charged with child abduction and on Thursday was remanded into custody.

She is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, August 15, 2017.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to or from Canada or Belize please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

Canada / Belize: After three years on the run for parental kidnapping, Lethbridge woman arrested in Belize


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An Alberta woman charged with abducting her young son three years ago has been arrested in Belize.

Lethbridge police say investigators received information last month on the whereabouts of a 33-year-old Lethbridge woman and her four-year-old son.

“Over the years, police have tracked the woman to Mexico, Guatemala and various parts of Belize after her ex-husband reported she had fled the country with the couple’s then 11-month-old son and was not planning to return,” the service said Thursday.

An arrest warrant has been outstanding since the mother was charged in 2014.

Police in Belize found the pair in the town of San Ignacio, where the mother was taken into custody and her son was placed in the care of human services. She was deported to the U.S. on Aug. 9 then taken to Canada, where she was arrested by Lethbridge police at the Calgary airport.

The child remains in the care of Belize Human Services and the next step will be getting him back to Canada, where he will be in the care of his father. Police say the child is in good health.

Sgt. Cam Van Roon, the primary investigator on the case, said the investigation spanning multiple countries has been challenging.

“We were really conducting an investigation from what felt like halfway across the world, so it was very challenging that way, trying to garner information both here and try to get some from abroad, and then piece that into what could be real time that could actually be used in Belize,” said Van Roon.

The investigation was launched Jan. 6, 2014, when police responded to a report of child abduction after the mother allegedly failed to drop her son off for a court-ordered visit and a text message was sent indicating they had left the country.

On Jan. 8, 2014, a court order granted the father sole interim custody and ordered the child’s immediate return. The order was sent to the mother and police say they made numerous attempts to contact her.

On Feb. 5, 2014, the mother was charged with child abduction and a warrant was issued for her arrest. Police allege she evaded police over the years by moving around Central America.

The woman, who can’t be identified due to a court-ordered publication ban, has been remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to or from Canada or Belize please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

Japan: The Aftermath of Japan’s Ratification of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction:


An Investigation into the State Apparatus of the Modern Japanese Family The Aftermath of Japan’s Ratification of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction: An Investigation into the State Apparatus of the Modern Japanese Family

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Author: Takeshi Hamano, University of Kitakyushu, Japan
Published: August 4, 2017
Citation: Hamano, T. (2017). The Aftermath of Japan’s Ratification of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction: An Investigation into the State Apparatus of the Modern Japanese Family. IAFOR Journal of Asian Studies, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijas.3.1.03


Abstract

The aim of this paper is to discuss the ways in which a recent international dispute has evoked an inquiry about the family ideology of modern Japan. Initially, it explains a recent issue on Japan’s ratification to the Hague Convention on child abduction. In April 2014, the Japanese government finally ratified the Hague Convention on child abduction, an international Convention to resolve disputes on international parental child abduction. However, skepticism toward Japan still remains, because, in order to put the international Convention into practice, Japan has not proceed to radical family law reform at this stage. To recognize this incongruent situation, this paper explains that the present Japanese family law is incompatible with the principle of this international Convention. Although the Convention premises shared parenting in the grant of joint child custody even after divorce, Japanese family law keeps the solo-custody approach, which is necessarily preserved in order to maintain Japan’s unique family registration system: the koseki system. Arguing that the koseki system, registering all nationals by family unit, is an ideological state apparatus of Japan as a modern nation state since the nineteenth century, this paper concludes that recent international disputes regarding parental child abduction in Japan inquires about a radical question on national family norm of Japan.

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India: Child abduction law may cover women’s interests


The aim is to put adequate safeguards to protect NRI parents, especially women, who remove a child from the lawful custody of their spouse.

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An NRI woman should have the right to refuse the return of her child to the spouse, from whom she separated on grounds of domestic violence, a high-level panel examining a draft law on civil aspects of International Child Abduction bill is likely to suggest.

Sources in the committee said they were considering introducing the option with an aim to put adequate safeguards to protect NRI parents, especially women, who remove a child from the lawful custody of their spouse.

India can become a signatory to the Hague convention on civil aspects of international child abduction only after a domestic law is in place. Signing the treaty will make inter-parental child abduction an offence punishable with one-year jail.

The Justice Rajesh Bindal -led panel is of the view that in draft law, domestic violence should be made a ground for refusing the return of child to the lawful custody of their spouse from whom they have been separated.

“Many countries, who are signatory to the treaty, have this clause in their domestic law. If a woman says she faces a risk of domestic violence, the government can stop the child from being sent back. We are seeing if this can be part of our domestic law also,” said a panel member on the condition of anonymity.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to or from India please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

Spain: Plight of Juana Rivas, a mother-of-two and abuse victim shakes Spain


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MADRID: The plight of a Spanish woman who vanished with her children after defying a court order to hand them over to her Italian ex-partner, found guilty of domestic violence, has shaken the country.

The case burst into the limelight this week just as lawmakers agreed a series of measures to tackle abuse against women, in a country that has made the struggle against domestic violence a priority.

Juana Rivas, a woman in her mid-30s from Maracena in southern Spain, was living in Italy with her partner when she took both their sons, aged 3 and 11, away in May 2016 and never returned, alleging abuse.

According to the Maracena municipal women’s centre which is representing her, she had suffered “psychological and physical violence.”

Her ex-partner, who was found guilty of abusing her in 2009, filed a complaint for child abduction, according to Andalusia’s high court, which oversees all courts in the southern region including the one that has dealt with the case.

In an interview with Italy’s Ansa news agency, he denied any violence. “I want to be able to hold my children again in my arms, I haven’t seen them since last year,” he said.

A Spanish court subsequently decided the children should return to Italy, arguing among other things that the eldest boy was evaluated by psychologists and did not show any indication of not wanting to see his father.

Rivas appealed but this was rejected and the court ordered her to hand over the children on Wednesday, July 26.

‘Defend them’
Footage of Rivas earlier this week showed her in tears as she appealed to the media.

“If they want to steal them from me, I will defend them until my last breath,” she told reporters.

On Wednesday, she never turned up and has remained in hiding ever since with her children.

The case has sparked an outpouring of support for Rivas, not only from fellow residents in Maracena, but further afield in Spain.

Netizens have taken to Twitter to pledge their support with the hashtags #Juanaestaenmicasa (Juana is in my house) or #YoSoyJuana (I am Juana) and a petition launched on Change.org in December 2016 has garnered more than 208,000 signatures.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told reporters “you have to put yourself in the place of this mother” when asked about the case.

“She had to go live in Italy, come back, she’s been assaulted twice, her husband was sentenced by the courts,” he said.

But in the Ansa interview, her ex-partner accused her of organising a media campaign against him.

The court in charge of the case has ordered both parties to appear at a hearing on August 8 to decide how to proceed.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to or from Spain please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

India: Law on table to deal with child custody disputes involving NRI parents


 

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Law Commission has held that “desire to protect children must be based on the true interpretation of their best interest” in its 263rd report. Photo Courtesy: Law Commission of India

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The Indian Government plans to bring a law to settle disputes arising over children with NRI parents making competing claims over custody after the children have been taken to another country by one party.

The Indian Government plans to bring a law on inter-country removal of children to settle the disputes.

Responding to a question in the Parliament during ongoing Monsoon Session, the Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Raj said the ministry has floated a concept note on the website to take the view of all stakeholders before a law is brought to this effect.

The Government admitted that there was no specific legislation to safeguard the interest of children in the event of inter-country parental abduction (removal and retention).

The Ministry had held a multi-stakeholder national consultation on February 3, 2017, to discuss the issue, keeping in mind the Indian realities and existing Indian Constitutional provisions. Subsequently, a multi member Committee had been constituted under the chairmanship of Justice Rajesh Bindal, head of the Chandigarh Judicial Academy, to examine and comment on different aspects involved in the issue.

A meeting of the committee was last held on June 3 at Chandigarh. A concept note has been uploaded on the Ministry’s website seeking comments of the common people including diverse stakeholders, Raj said.

The concept note is an outcome of several legal twists and turns arising out of a case of dispute of over custody of a girl child between two parents – Deepak Kapoor and Jyoti Kapoor, the biological parents, and Seema and Surinder Kumar, the foster parents who claim to have adopted her after her birth. Seema is the sister of Deepak.

Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Punjab and Haryana High Court. Photo Courtesy: Law Commission of India

The child in question, Aishley Kapoor, born in 1999, was allegedly abducted by Seema one day in 2006 from her home in Hoshiarpur (Punjab). The Kapoors went to court, which asked Seema to return the child. Seema challenged the order in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The HC stayed the order, but asked Seema to appear in court with the child in person. However, Seema fled to the UK with the child and did not return.

Seema was arrested in December 2008 in UK. The Kapoors approached the High Court of Justice, Family Division, London, which appointed a guardian and ruled on April 3, 2009, that the child is returned to India in her best interest. However, the child was again abducted on April 24 and has not been located since then.

The Amicus Curiae appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court said that the problem of recovery of the child has become aggravated in the absence of a law in India to this effect. Since India does not have any law dealing with transnational custody of children disputes, India is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction that takes care of such problems.

Hague Convention on International Child Abduction is covered in its Policy on Children.
Hague Convention on International Child Abduction is covered in its Policy on Children. Photo Courtesy: International Court of Crime, The Hague

The HC asked the Law Commission of India to work on this and the Commission submitted its report, with a proposed bill (that revises the Government’s ‘Civil Aspects of the International Child Abduction Bill’) in October 2016. The Government then prepared a concept note for comments

“With the rise in trans-national marriages and complexities involved in modern day relationships, the protection of rights of parents and children involved is a critical issue of national and international importance. The high court referred the matter to the Law Commission to examine multiple issues involved in inter-country, inter-parental child removal amongst the families and thereafter to consider whether recommendations should be made for enacting a suitable law for signing the Hague Convention on Child abduction,” the ministry said.

“The ministry (also) organised a National Consultation on Hague Convention at New Delhi and a committee was constituted which is now studying and analysing the various civil aspects of International Child Removal. The comments and suggestions are being invited as a part of the process,” it added.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to or from India please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)