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)

USA: A US Bill Named After an Indian American Woman


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The legislation seeks to repeal benefits for countries found to be non-compliant in child abduction cases.
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A US lawmaker Chris Smith, a Republican representative from New Jersey, introduced a new bill in Congress on 28th July named after an Indian American woman who is fighting to regain custody of her twins abducted by her ex-husband. The legislation seeks to repeal tariff benefits for countries who were found to be non-compliant in returning American children abducted and taken to another country by one parent.

The bill “Bindu Philips and Devon Davenport International Child Abduction Return Act of 2017” is named after two parents– an Indian American woman and Brazilian American man. According to them, their kids were abducted and taken to respective countries and despite US court orders, the two countries are not doing much to help them get their children back.

A Background of the Case

According to FBI report, Albert Philip Jacob and Alfred William Jacob, Bindu’s sons, were abducted to India in December 2008 when they were 8-years old. Her ex-husband Sunil Jacob had taken them on pretext of a Christmas vacation. Chris Smith, who is chair of the House panel on global human rights, said:

“Bindu Philips fought valiantly in India for over eight years for the return of her abducted twin sons, only to be given the incessant delays in India’s courts and little support from the Obama administration.”

“Just recently, she was finally granted a short visit with her children in India, but the children’s father marred the time with harassment and monitoring, refusing to let the children and mother leave a hotel for seven days.” he added.

In an email interview with the The American Bazaar Online,  Bindu said that her children, who are US citizens, are living in India on an OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India).  For minor, an OCI application needs to be signed by both parents. Her then-husband Sunil Jacob forged her signatures and submitted the application at Indian Consulate in New York.

The Need for the Bill

A New Jersey court had granted Bindu the sole custody of her twins in December 2009.  Sunil Jacob attended the hearing via phone from India. The US court judgement was handed through India’s Ministry of Law and Justice to Sunil.

“The Superior Court of New Jersey ordered the immediate return of my twin children to US in October 2010,” Bindu told the American Bazaar Online.

In a 2015 interview with the American Bazaar, she said that Jacob had tried to turn the children against her and had limited the contact she has had with them. Jacob had taken her finances, her salary from their joint earnings and all her belongings. “[My] house was empty when I returned to the US,” she said in that interview. “He had everything taken while I was gone. My parents had to send me finances for my living expenses and my neighbor was kind enough to allow me to stay in her house since mine was completely empty — everything had been shipped away without my knowledge by three of his friends.”

Countries that Aid Abductors

Chris Smith elaborated the Devon Davenport case: “He has had a return order for his daughter Nadia from Brazil since 2009. He has won every single one of the 24 appeals against the order—but Brazil still will not enforce its own return order.” Nadia was just four months old when her mother took her to Brazil.

Smith added that the abducted children are often blocked from any contact with the American parent– losing half of their family and heritage.

According to Smith, 11 of the 13 non-compliant countries in the return of abducted American children are still receiving billions of dollars in tariff exemptions under the Generalized System of Preferences as said in annual Goldman Report by the State Department.

“We must cease rewarding countries that aid abductors. When is enough finally enough?” he asked.

Governments Need to be Decisive

“For years, the U.S. government response to abductions has been an engraved invitation to abductors..Abductors have an 84% chance of no penalty for ripping their child from home and family in the United States. It is my hope and expectation that this year, the State Department will begin to act more decisively on behalf of American families so that more children come home,” said Smith.

Smith’s efforts were appreciated by the parents. Bindu said that the Republican lawmaker helped her meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 8, 2016 when he visited Washington.

Last year, 629 American children were taken from the US by one parent without the consent of the other– often in direct violation of valid US court orders, US criminal law and the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.Without pressure from Washington, the rate of return of abducted children is only 16%.

Generalized System of Preferences

According to India West, the new bill proposes to amend the Generalized System of Preferences. It is a trade program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world through duty free entry for some products. So in the Bill, any country named as non-compliant in the prompted resolutions of abductions would lose trade benefits granted by the US– a move that may affect India.

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)

 

South Africa:‘Parent cannot kidnap their own child’ says boyfriend’s lawyer


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Additional charges may be brought by the State against the suspects.

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“ACCORDING to the law a parent cannot kidnap their own child,” said the Durban lawyer, Andile Dakela, who is representing one of the suspects involved in the baby abduction case that dominated headlines this weekend.

It sparked a province-wide manhunt by police, various security organisations and even civilians, all looking for the one-month old infant.

The baby girl ‘went missing’ around noon on Friday, 10 March and by the early hours of Sunday, 12 March, she had been foundThree people were arrested in connection with the incident but only two people appeared in a packed Durban Magistrate’s Court today – the child’s mother and a man the police have named as her ‘boyfriend’.

Speaking to the Northglen News, Dakela who is representing the ‘boyfriend’, said that his client believes he is the child’s biological father. When asked whether his case rested on this fact, Dakela said that this was incorrect to assume and that he was merely following the instructions of his client. “I will cross that river when I get there,” the attorney said.

Just 10 minutes into proceedings, a paternity test was requested and the case was postponed pending DNA samples to be taken as well as for the State to complete a list of charges.

Earlier on Monday morning, reports by police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe, were that additional charges such as the contravention of the children’s act and misuse of state resources, could be brought against the suspects.

A special prosecutor has also been reported to have been assigned to the case and that the baby is currently in a place of safety and being cared for by the Department of Social Development.

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)

USA: Texas Community Struggles With Death Of Kidnapped Teen Shavon Randle


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Although African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 37 percent of the missing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database under the age of 18 and 26 percent above the age of 18. Cases involving African Americans also tend to receive less media coverage than missing Whites, with missing men of color getting even less attention.

NewsOne has partnered with the Black and Missing Foundation to focus on the crisis of missing African Americans.

To be a part of the solution, NewsOne will profile missing persons and provide tips about how to keep your loved ones safe and what to do if someone goes missing.


The family of Shavon Le’Feye Randle, the Dallas teen who was kidnapped and murdered as part of a feud over 22 pounds of stolen marijuana that she had nothing to do with, wants the violence to stop.

She lost her life over nothingover pettiness,” Marshaun Burnett, 11, a resident said at a televised community forum.

Shavon was last see alive on June 28 in front of her home in Lancanster, Texas. According to Lancaster Police, one of Shavon’s family members received a call from a man saying that the teen was being held against her will. The unknown caller also threatened to harm Shavon, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Police identified four persons of interest in the case but Shavon was found shot to death from multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body on July 2, four days after police issued an Amber Alert. Michael Titus, 19, one of the original persons of interest, was also found dead in the same abandoned home in Oak Cliff, a Dallas neighborhood.

Desmond Jones, 21, who led police to Shavon and Titus’ corpses and who also allegedly told police he was there when Shavon was kidnapped and Titus was killed, is facing charges of felony aggravated kidnapping for ransom or reward and failing to report a crime, the Dallas Morning News reports.

The paper also reports that Devontae Owens and Laquon Wilkerson are facing aggravated kidnapping charges for plotting and participating in Shavon’s kidnapping. Darius Fields is being held on a federal weapons charge. Kendall Perkins, accused of stealing the marijuana that led to Shavon’s kidnapping, is being held on aggravated robbery charges. Laporshya Polley, from whom the marijuana was allegedly stolen, is being held on drug possession and evidence tampering charges.

A total of six people connected with the case have been arrested on aggravated robbery, kidnapping and drug charges but no one has yet been charged with Shavon’s and Titus’ murders.

But Lancaster Police Chief Samuel Urbanski told Fox 4 charges could soon be filed in the death.

In this instance we want to be with accuracy not speed,” Urbanski said. “The majority of the investigation is complete, its the filling that we’re looking at again. We want to make sure that we’re accurate in our filing.”

Lancaster’s officers were hit hard with grief while investigating the case.

“I took it personally. My daughter turns 13 next week,” Urbanski told the television news outlet. “I attended the funeral of Shavon, I felt like I knew Shavon. Everything her family said, I personally took it to heart and I will never forget.”

Natalie Wilson, co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation, called Shavon’s death one of the most “senseless” she has seen while helping families of the missing.

“It’s such a bizarre case. We don’t see many cases like this,” Black and Missing Foundation co-founder Natalie Wilson told NewsOne. “We see parental abductions and young girls and boys being abducted for sex trafficking, but abduction to pay a drug debt is highly unusual.”

It’s such a bizarre case. We don’t see many cases like this,” Wilson told NewsOne. “We see parental abductions and young girls and boys being abducted for sex trafficking, but abduction to pay a drug debt is highly unusual.”

She added, “They kidnapped a murdered a child who had nothing to do with that situationWe are deeply saddened by the murder of Shavon. We hope that those involved are punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

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)

Dubai / Pakistan: 6 years on, mum waits to be reunited with 3 daughters abducted by dad


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A mother’s cry. Maimouna gets emotional as she shows a photo album of her daughters Mariam, Aisha and Amna

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DUBAI: Taking a leaf from Zainab Fawad’s book, a Dubai-based divorcee has resumed her fight to wrest custody of her three minor daughters from her Pakistan-based husband.

Lithuanian Maimouna Liskaus-kaite, 36, has not seen her girls since April 4, 2011 when her husband of seven years took their daughters out on the pretext of taking them to Safa Park but instead flew with them to Pakistan and disappeared.

Maimouna was still reeling from the shock when she was couriered divorce papers from Pakistan four days later and her in-laws asked her to vacate their Jumeirah villa.

“Like Zainab, I also went through hell but never lost hope. Our stories are similar. We were both abandoned by our husbands and separated from our children. So I thought if an Indian woman can get her kids back from Pakistan then why can’t I?” she said, referring to the November 17, 2016 XPRESS story which helped Zainab reunite with her twin boys, Muzammil and Mustafa after nearly three years.

The reunion is now the subject of an upcoming Bollywood movie.

Maimouna said the dramatic turnaround in Zainab’s life has steeled her resolve to continue her fight for justice.

Maimouna said she is planning to travel to Multan in Pakistan’s Punjab province and look for her daughters Mariam, 13, Aisha, 11, and Amna, 9 where the Lithuanian passport-holders are believed to be living with their father and stepmother.

“Let’s not forget that the kids are Lithuanian nationals. They can’t be living in Pakistan and I will do whatever it takes to get them back as I have a court order granting me their custody.

“My visa application to Pakistan was rejected so I am applying all over again. I have had several meetings with officials at the Pakistan consulate in Dubai in recent days and am hopeful of a positive outcome,” said Maimouna as she wiped tears and flipped through a photo album of her daughters.

“See how they bedraggled they look,” she said pointing to a group photograph of Mariam, Aisha, Amna sent to her by an anonymous source from Pakistan a few years ago.

“This is the only image I have of them after their abduction,” added Maimona who now teaches at pre-school in Dubai.

“The pain of separation from my girls was so intense, I almost lost my sanity. But being in the midst of children helped. Some of the kids are the age of Amna who was just three years old when she was snatched away,” added Maimouna who also runs a Facebook group ‘Looking for My 3 Daughters’ to drum up support for her cause.

THE STORY SO FAR:

1996: Maimouna, formerly known as Edita, meets Dubai-born Pakistan national J.S. while he is studying medicine in her home country Lithuania.

January 2, 2003: She embraces Islam and her husband gives her a new name — Maimouna

January 17, 2004: The couple get married in Lithuania

October 2004-April 2008: The couple has three daughters

— Mariam, Aisha and Amna

December 2010: The family travels to Dubai to live with

J.S.’ father in his Jumeirah villa

April 4, 2011: Maimouna’s hubby tells her he’s taking their

daughters to a park but instead flies with them to Pakistan

April 8, 2011: Maimouna is divorced from Pakistan

December 17, 2013: Dubai Court grants her custody of her kids.

 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to, or from Dubai 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)

 

EU: Brexit could increase rate of ‘parental abductions’


She explained that some foreign parents want to maximise their chances of being able to return home with the children if things don’t work out

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BREXIT could cause a spike in the number of parents abducting their children, experts claim.

eu-flagThe uncertainty brought about by the referendum vote has lead to a ‘significant increase’ in the number of parents in unstable relationships seeking advice about their rights to relocate or to prevent the other parent from travelling because they are worried they may not come back with the children, said Cara Nuttall, partner at JMW Solicitors.

“We’ve also seen a rise in disputes about applications for foreign nationality and travel documents for children entitled to dual citizenship in fragile international families.”

She explained that some foreign parents want to maximise their chances of being able to return home with the children if things don’t work out, while British parents want to make it harder for them to do so.

 “The inevitable temptation is to consider taking matters into their own hands, and just go.”
If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to, or from the EU 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)

EU: Brexit could lead to rise in parental child abductions, warn legal experts


‘One year on from the referendum, it is clear it is having an impact on family life’

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Brexit could lead to a rise in the number of parents abducting their children and taking them overseas, a law firm has claimed.

Lawyers said the firm had already seen a spike in inquiries from parents about disputes over travel plans and applications for dual citizenship, as well as fears their children would not be returned home from overseas visits.

Cara Nuttall, who specialises in matters relating to children, including abductions, said her firm JMW Solicitors, had received 30 per cent more inquiries in the three months to the end of June compared with the same period last year.

“One year on from the referendum, it is clear that Brexit is having an impact on family life where one or both parents is from the EU,” she said.

“We have seen a significant increase over recent weeks in the number of parents in rocky relationships or who are already separated or divorced seeking advice about their rights to relocate, or to stop the other parent from travelling because they are scared they may not come back with the children.

Ms Nuttall, a partner at the Manchester-based firm, added: ”We have also seen a rise in disputes about applications for foreign nationality and travel documents for children entitled to dual citizenship in fragile international families.

“Some foreign parents feel strongly they want to maximise their chances of being able to return home if things don’t work out, while British parents are concerned about them doing exactly that, and want to make it harder for them to take the children should they wish to do so.”

She also warned it expected to see even more of these cases over the summer months.

She said: “It is clear that the uncertainty caused by Brexit has led to discussions in these families about the future, leaving some parents feeling extremely vulnerable when they realise they have diverging views.

“It seems some foreign nationals are not certain they want to remain here in the long term, especially against a backdrop of anti-European feeling. They’re worried that if they don’t go soon, they may end up stuck here if they want to see their children grow up.

“The inevitable temptation is to consider taking matters into their own hands and just go.”

Ms Nuttall said the framework in place to deal with parental abductions in Europe might not stay in place after Brexit.

She said: “We simply do not know what the replacement measures will be, nor how well they will work.”

Criminal law commissioner Professor David Ormerod QC said the laws to prevent child abductions were not “fit for purpose”.

“At least 300 British children a year are unlawfully retained overseas and the problem is growing,” he said.

“Whatever the implications of Brexit, we’d urge Parliament to consider our recommendations to double the maximum sentences for these offences to 14 years’ imprisonment and to close a legal loophole around the wrongful detention of children abroad.”

It comes as multiple reports suggested the UK would maintain free movement for EU citizens for up to four years after Brexit.

Theresa May is ready to offer free movement for two years, according to The Times, while The Guardian quoted a senior cabinet source as saying the period could last for three or even four years.

Philip Hammond was said to be confident he has won support within the Cabinet for a transition to prevent disruption to business caused by a sudden “cliff-edge” move to new arrangements on 29 March 2019, when Britain is set to leave the EU.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to, or from the EU 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)