May 23, 2013
Did you know that May is International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA) Awareness Month?
The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs is committed to preventing international child abductions. The State Department places the highest priority on the welfare of children who have been abducted across an international border and is encouraging foreign governments to join the U.S. as parties to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
The Hague Abduction Convention is the primary civil law mechanism for parents seeking the return of the children from other treaty partner countries. The Convention does not address who should have custody of the child; it addresses where the custody case should be heard. Today the U.S. is a treaty partner with 70 countries (Hague Abduction countries
May is also an important month for children because May 25, 2013 is the 30th annual Missing Children’s Day. The first annual Missing Children’s Day was proclaimed by President Reagan in 1983. Although we remember the plight of missing children particularly on this day, it is important to remember that all year long organizations in the U.S., like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), are working to promote children’s rights and protect them. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Childrenopened in 1984 to serve as the nation’s clearinghouse on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children. Today NCMEC is authorized by Congress to perform 19 programs and services to assist law enforcement, families and the professionals who serve them. Organizations like NCMEC and the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs are both working hard to prevent child abductions and serve the needs of children.
Special Advisor to Children’s Issues Ambassador Susan Jacobs spoke to the US Congress on May 9, 2013 about International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA) Issues. Here
is a link to her testimony, as well as the testimony of members of Congress and parents who have been victims of IPCA.
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