Canada: Police issue safety tips


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Two people have been charged after a child was abducted in Elliot Lake.

In a release, the East Algoma Ontario Provincial Police said officers got a call Saturday about “a non-custodial abduction in the Elliot Lake area.”

The suspects appeared Sunday in the Ontario Court of Justice bail court in Sault Ste. Marie. Police are saying little else about the case.

“In order to protect the identity of the children involved, no further information will be provided,”‘ police said. “However, police would like to take this opportunity to remind parents and/or guardians the importance of safety with their children.”

Safety tips for children passed on by police include:

– Know your name, address and phone number(s).

– Learn how and when to call 911.

– If you are scared of someone, run to safety.

– It’s OK to be rude to a grown-up if you feel you are unsafe.

– Learn the difference between an “OK” secret and a “not OK” secret, and beware of an adult that asks you to keep a secret from parents or your guardian.

– Have a “Call List” and know how and when to use it.

– Don’t let anyone on the phone or at the door know that you are home alone.

– If you ever get lost in a mall, ask the closest store clerk for help and then stay where you are until you are found.

– Avoid shortcuts when you are walking from one place to another.

– If you are ever “scooped,” scream, kick, bite and fight as hard as you can to get away. Never trust what the “scooper” tells you.

– Tell your parents or a trusted adult if someone is asking you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Listen to your “Uh Oh” voice.

– Always ask your parents for permission before getting on the Internet.

– Never talk to people online without your parent’s permission.

– As for parents/guardians, work hard to establish trust and communication with your children. Ensure you know how to find them at all times.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding an abducted child 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)

Rise in child parental abductions due to ease of mobility


November 18, 2015

Source: Irishexaminer

Child abductions are increasing because of ease of mobility, according to the State’s Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Dr Geoffrey Shannon.

Dr Geoffrey Shannon

Dr Shannon told a conference on parental child abduction, held in Dublin yesterday, that as well as being a more mobile society, some 15% of marriages are bi-national.

“So inevitably when marriages break down, the area of abduction comes into sharp focus,” said Dr Shannon, adding that a key issue now emerging is the “grave risk defence” being used to prevent children being returned.

We can help you recover your abducted child

A frequently invoked defence used is that returning the child would expose him or her to physical or psychological harm, or would put the child in an intolerable position.

“The threshold should be high for ‘grave risk’ because what you don’t want is this defence being pleaded as a matter of course,” said Dr Shannon.

Creating a low threshold for grave risk subverts the law in the member state where the child is taken.

Dr Shannon said: “I am in no doubt that when a child is taken from a EU member state without lawful authority, a child should be immediately returned to the state from which the child has been abducted.”

He said the Brussels 11a Regulation, which specifies procedures regarding international child abduction, is unrealistic in requiring the disposing of such cases within six weeks.

“If you are going to hear the voice of the child and the parent seeking the return of the child, the six-week period is unrealistic,” he said.

“With the passage of the children’s rights referendum, the court has an obligation to hear the views of the child and give them due weight.”

Dr Shannon added that the fact it might be difficult to hear a child does not absolve a court from the responsibility of doing so: “That is something we should not lose sight of.”

The conference, held at the European Parliament offices, was organised by Mairead McGuinness, MEP and vice-president of the parliament and its mediator for international parental child abduction.

Maired McGuinness

Ms McGuinness said that the conference was held ahead of a European Commission review of the Brussels 11a Regulation in the spring.

She said the regulation dealing conflict of law issues between member states, including international child abduction, is not working in the best interest of the child.

“Making sure an abducted child is returned safely within the correct timeframe is a huge issue,” she said.

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Parental Abduction – U.S. Woman Enters Plea in International Kidnap Case


September 30 , 2014

Source: abcnews

A woman accused of abducting her infant daughter from South Carolina 20 years ago pleaded not guilty Monday during her first court appearance after being extradited from Australia.

Dorothy lee barnett

Dorothy Lee Barnett, 54, entered the plea before U.S. Magistrate Bristow Marchant. Her attorney requested that her bond hearing be delayed.

Barnett faces a count of parental kidnapping and two counts of falsifying U.S. passport applications. Authorities allege she did not have custody of her then 10-month-old daughter Savanna Catherine Todd when she took her from South Carolina back in 1994.

Barnett was found in Australia last year where she had been living under several aliases. She fought extradition but was finally returned to the United States last week.

Her attorney, Russell W. Mace III, told the judge he needs time to contact Barnett’s family and friends from out of state and out of the country to come vouch for his client. At a bond hearing a judge decides whether a defendant can be released after weighing whether he or she is a flight risk.

Mace told the judge his client had been back since Friday and he only met her for the first time Saturday.

He told reporters later that he has been in contact with Barnett by telephone since she was arrested and jailed in Australia last November. He would not comment further.

Barnett appeared before the judge in a gray-striped prison jumpsuit and there were shackles on her hands as she signed the court papers acknowledging her plea. She did not comment except to tell the judge she understood both the charges and that she would have to remain in jail at least until the bond hearing.

Conviction on the charges carries a maximum penalty of 30 years.

Authorities said that in 1994, Barnett left for a birthday party with her daughter and never returned. The previous year Barnett had filed for divorce from her husband, Benjamin Harris Todd III, a Bowling Green, Kentucky, native and former Charleston stockbroker.

The daughter has since been living a normal life in Australia, authorities said.

Prosecutors have not yet said just how Barnett was found in Australia after almost two decades.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams, who told the judge the government will oppose bond, would not comment following the hearing.

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Parental Abduction – Changes to Travel Rules for Families Visiting South Africa


September 21 , 2014

Source: expatriatehealthcare.com

South Africa has long been a popular destination for Brits seeking winter sunshine. Each year over 300,000 of us fly out to the Cape in search of better weather, sandy beaches and breath-taking scenery. Unfortunately though, British expats and holiday makers visiting South Africa from October 1st onwards could be in for a nasty surprise.

African Child

In an attempt to tackle problems of child abduction and trafficking, new rules are to be introduced for minors entering the country. Anyone entering the country with children will be required to produce a full birth certificate for each child as evidence of legal parentage.

This is likely to put additional strain on governments around the world to issue – or reissue – birth certificates and thus enable travel. In the UK alone it can take several weeks to receive a birth certificate and this lead time is likely to worsen as demand rises later in the year.

For children who are accompanied by just one parent the rules will be even more draconian. The sole parent will not only require a birth certificate for each child under their supervision but also an affidavit. This must be signed by the other parent authorizing international travel and entry specifically into South Africa.

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In cases where neither parent is present – such as school trips – further paperwork will be required. Once again, guardians will need to produce birth certificates and affidavits from the parents of all children. However in addition the guardian must present passports from both parents.

While the new rules have been put in place with the best of intentions by the South African government they are being called a “tourism, PR, economic and political disaster”. The additional paperwork required to visit South Africa in the future will not only frustrate potential visitors but also add to the costs of travel.

In addition the increased demand for such paperwork may cause delays and even holiday cancellations as most airlines are unlikely to allow travel to South Africa before production of the required documentation.

Families considering a future visit to South Africa are strongly encouraged to check the latest travel requirements with their airline in case of changes.

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Mother’s arrest at D/FW Airport shows difficulties of international custody disputes


19 September , 2014

Source: DallasNews 

Like many divorces, Padmashini and Dean Drees’ breakup in 2004 was bitter.

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There were mutual allegations of abuse, suspicions of infidelity and a nasty fight over custody of the couple’s toddler son, Drew.

But when Padmashini Drees traveled with Drew to India seven years ago and didn’t return, the family’s problems reached the U.S. State Department and the FBI.

Though custody battles tend to be messy, international cases like the one involving the Dreeses can drag on for years. The U.S. Supreme Court has wrestled with at least two disputes since 2012. Clashing legal systems become hurdles for the parents.

The parent left behind has little recourse if a U.S. court order is not recognized in another country. The parent who takes the child abroad in violation of a custody order could face criminal prosecution should he or she ever return to U.S. soil.

The North Texas case appeared to have a movie-script ending July 9, when Dean Drees reunited with Drew, who is now 10. A McKinney police photo showed a smiling father embracing his son.

Officers arrested Padmashini Drees when her flight landed at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. They accused her of abducting her son and put her in jail.

The case is not settled.

Padmashini Drees was released from the Collin County Jail on Sept. 2. Her felony charge of interference with child custody is pending. If convicted, she faces up to two years in state jail.

“Today, Padma has the option of making a comfortable life anywhere in the world,” said her attorney, Scott Mackenzie, in a written statement. “She has chosen to stay in the United States to fight for her son and get the justice that she truly deserves.”

Neither Padmashini Drees nor Dean Drees would speak with a reporter except through their lawyers.

The mother

Padmashini Drees’ life in the U.S. began in the early 2000s as her first marriage, an arranged union, crumbled, her attorney said.

Trained as an architect, she enrolled in a computer-aided design class where she met Dean Drees. The couple married in August 2003 and started a family in a middle-class neighborhood in McKinney.

Dean Drees filed for divorce in October 2004, nine months after Drew’s birth.

In 2006, a court in Collin County granted Padmashini and Dean Drees joint custody of Drew. It also set the boy’s primary residence with his father and ordered his mother to pay child support.

India

Mackenzie said Padmashini Drees, a green-card holder, lived under her husband’s constant threats of deportation.

“In light of that, I can understand why she felt the need to run,” Mackenzie said.

Dean Drees’ attorney, Tiffany Haertling, denied the allegations. She lamented that Padmashini Drees “would choose to continue to inflict hurt and grief on an already unfortunate situation.”

Drew was about 3 years old when his mother took him overseas. They lived in India and also traveled to England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Indonesia and Thailand, according to a court document.

The father

Dean Drees told a Collin County court that he made “continuous efforts” to get his son back for the seven years he was away. He hired private investigator Danny Russell to track down Drew. Russell worked with federal agencies and others to locate the boy.

Dean Drees missed Drew “immensely” and was desperate to find him, Russell said.

“He was a very polite father who was fearful of the worst because he didn’t know what had happened to his son,” Russell said. “He had no contact.”

India is a haven for parental child abductions, said Jeremy Morley, a New York attorney and former co-chairman of the International Family Law Committee of the American Bar Association.

The Asian nation hasn’t signed the Hague Abduction Convention, a treaty that encourages the safe return of children taken from their home countries.

“There is no consistency in the approaches of the Indian courts in these cases,” Morley said, “and the Indian legal system is extremely slow and can be corrupt.”

The U.S. State Department reported 702 parental child abductions from the U.S. to another country in 2013. India accounted for 28 cases, trailing only Mexico and Canada.

Coming home

In December, Padmashini Drees restored Drew’s contact with Dean Drees through video chats. Dean Drees asked his ex-wife to come back with Drew so they could both parent the boy, Mackenzie said.

“Despite the warnings given to her by Indian authorities and other people … she kind of hoped Dean would have mercy on her and try to work with her,” the attorney said.

On July 16, a Collin County court suspended Padmashini Drees’ access to her son as part of the civil custody case.

Her legal team wants to resolve the felony case before pursuing visitation with Drew, Mackenzie said. Padmashini Drees has no intention of taking her son back to India, the attorney said.

Parents should seek proper legal advice instead of trying to resolve custody issues themselves, said Morley, the New York attorney.

“She took the law into her own hands,” he said of Padmashini Drees. “Now she’s paying the price.”

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Parental Child Abduction to Japan – ‘Racist’ cartoon issued by Japanese ministry angers rights activists


17 September , 2014

Source: scmp.com and CrnJapan.net 

Pamphlet issued by Tokyo to Japan’s embassies in response to Hague convention is criticised for depicting a foreign man beating his child.

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Human rights activists in Japan have reacted angrily to a new pamphlet released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that they claim is racist and stereotypical for depicting white fathers beating their children.

The 11-page leaflet has been sent to Japanese embassies and consulates around the world in response to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction going into effect in Japan on April 1.

Tokyo dragged its feet on ratifying the treaty, which broadly stipulates that a child should be returned to his or her country of habitual residence when they have been taken out of that country by a parent but without the consent of the other parent.

But manga-style images of foreign fathers beating children and Japanese women portrayed as innocent victims have raised the hackles of campaigners, both those fighting discrimination against foreigners and non-Japanese who have been unable to see children who have been abducted by Japanese former spouses.

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“It’s the same problem with any negotiations in which Japan looks like it has been beaten,” said Debito Arudou, a naturalised Japanese citizen who was born in the United States and has become a leading human rights activist.

“After being forced to give up a degree of power by signing the Hague treaty, they have to show that they have not lost face and they try to turn the narrative around,” he said. “It’s the same as in the debate over whaling.

“The Japanese always see themselves as the victims, and in this case, the narrative is that Japanese women are being abused and that the big, bad world is constantly trying to take advantage of them.”

Arudou is particularly incensed by the cover of the publication, which shows a blond-haired foreigner hitting a little girl, a foreign father taking a child from a sobbing Japanese mother and another Japanese female apparently ostracised by big-nosed foreign women.

“It is promoting the image that the outside world is against Japanese and the only place they will get a fair deal is in Japan,” said Arudou.

The rest of the pamphlet takes the form of a conversation between a cartoon character father and son, but with the storyline showing the difficulties of a Japanese woman living abroad with her half-Japanese son.

Arudou says the publication then “degenerates into the childish” with the appearance of an animated doll that is the father figure’s pride and joy, but also dispenses advice.

“As well as promoting all these stereotypes, why are they not talking about visitation issues for foreigners whose half-Japanese children have been abducted by their ex-wives?” asked Arudou.

Several foreigners who have been unable to see their children for years have already contacted Arudou to express their anger, with a number of US nationals saying they would pass the document onto lawmakers.

Arudou’s post on the issue on his website has also attracted attention, with commentators describing the pamphlet as “racist propaganda”.

“This is disgusting,” one commentator posted. “Pictures are powerful, more powerful than words. And the only time I’ve ever seen anything remotely like this is when I did a search for old anti-Japanese propaganda.

“Of course, that was disgusting too, but it was wartime!”

Another added, “What a pathetic advert for an ‘advanced’ country.

“As for the text – not wasting any more bandwidth on such utter racist, xenophobic, patronising, paranoid nonsense.”

Other links related to the case: http://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000034153.pdf and http://www.crnjapan.net/english-mofadoc.pdf

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Parental Abduction – Boy Abducted in Seattle May Pass by SD in Boat: FBI


September 13 , 2014

Source: NBC News

FBI officials are asking San Diegans to be on the lookout for a missing Seattle boy and his father who may pass by the area on their way to Mexico.

jeffery+and+billy+hanson+

They believe Billy Ginger Hanson, 9, has been abducted by his biological father, Jeffrey Ford Hanson, 46, who may have taken to the high seas with the boy.

Law enforcement is concerned for the child’s safety because they say Hanson is extremely volatile.

Billy was supposed to return to his mother in Pennsylvania on Sept. 4, but he never boarded the flight.

The FBI believes Jeffrey and Billy Hanson may be aboard a white 1976 Cooper sailboat like the one pictured here. King County Sheriff’s Dept.

The FBI says Hanson, a known drug abuser, may be illegally taking his son to Mexico, the San Juan Islands or Tahiti in a 1976 Cooper sailboat with a 6-inchy red stripe along the side. The vessel named “Draco” has a Washington license plate of WN6783NZ.

In case they pass by the California coast, the agency has raised alarms here.

Billy is described as a Caucasian boy with brown hair and brown eyes, weighing 90 pounds and standing 4-feet tall.

Hanson is a Caucasian man with blonde hair and blue eyes. He stands 5-foot-5 and weighs 160 pounds. The FBI has issued a warrant for his arrest, accusing him of violating the international parental kidnapping statute.

If you know anything about the Hansons’ whereabouts, call the San Diego FBI office at 858-320-1800, the Seattle FBI office at 206-622-0460 or 911.

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