November 5, 2012
Child kidnapping is a crime that happens with frightening regularity. And it often involves the parents. Sometimes a Ukrainian-born mother cannot adapt to her new life abroad and returns to the safety of her native Ukraine, taking along her child without the father’s consent. Or a divorce has gone wrong, and the mother takes the child back to Ukraine despite a court order that allows the father visitation rights.
In any case, domestic child kidnapping is a fairly common event that carries criminal consequences for the offending parent.
As a general rule, the Ukrainian Interpol Bureau, a part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, should take action based on Interpol notices for missing children and kidnapping parents. This warrant information is also shared with the Ukrainian State Border Control Service.
Unfortunately, there is no national coordinating agency for such searches. The State Execution Service of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine enforces related court decisions on a case-by-case basis and the Court’s Execution Service involves other relevant agencies, such as local police or children’s services. The entire system is quite bureaucratic and unpredictable, and often precious little gets done in the way of returning the child to the foreign parent.