The Empty Swing - Book Trailer

Karin vonKrenner
Posted October 4, 2020

What Is the Hague Convention on Kidnapping?  (Lecture 2008)

The Hague Convention on Kidnapping, in 2002, had been ratified by about 83 countries. While “ratification” is a different legal concept than becoming an actual signatory, this legal “grey area” is generally ignored in many cases. The original International Hague Convention on Kidnapping was designed to prevent child kidnapping across borders in legal custody cases. The concept was to protect children from harm.  Sadly, the intent was not always the reality. In far too many cases, it created instead,  terrible harm and, fear.

(HCCH)  “The Convention, was designed as a return mechanism for parents fleeing one legal jurisdiction to another.  It does not seek to resolve custody issues or any additional disputes concerning the child's status and ignores issues of birth or citizenship.  It provided for the quick return of a child to his or her habitual country of residence, where custody and other disputed issues were to be resolved. Thus, the Convention is an attempt to prevent the abducting parent from seeking a more favorable custody decision in a different country/jurisdiction—often a country where the abducting parent has citizenship, other family members, or a common (i.e., empathetic) ethnic or religious community.

Current statistics show that in parental kidnappings, mothers flee with their children 54% of the cases, while fathers abscond with the children 46% of the time.  (US State Department statistics 2010)

 Abductions occur more frequently to children under 6 years old, and equally to children of both sexes.  These statistics do not define those parents who abduct, they do not clarify reasons. Statistics do not tell the story behind the abductions. Stories of flight from Domestic Violence, or, worse...


*"The Empty Swing" is a  story based on true events and told for the first time, It is a story that changed the legal world, giving voice to that parent being chased through the night, across the world.  The silent, fugitive parent.  A mother. Running, hiding and afraid, with the full force of international law against them. Some times, they have a very good reason. This is the story of where love can take you, if you follow your heart and are true to it. It is a love story.

© Karin vonKrenner [2005]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karin von Krenner  with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

This story was submitted in response to Human Rights for All.

Comments 5

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Hello, Karin,

Thank you for educating us about The Hague Convention on Kidnapping. This is truly informative.

Beth Lacey
Nov 19
Nov 19

Yes, I didn't know about this either. Perhaps the HCC can do better here

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 21
Nov 21

Hi Karin,
Very important information, thank you. There is a world of difference between a man who steals children from a mother to punish her and often to prevent girls from freedom, compared to a woman fleeing with children to keep herself and children safe.

Catherine De Freitas

Hi Karin,

How are you ? I hope that all is well. Thank you so much for sharing this information with us.
If you follow your heart and are true to it, it is a love story. I love that. :) Do have a nice day.

Karin vonKrenner
Nov 24
Nov 24

Thank you Catherine,
So nice of you to read and comment! And, yes, it is always a love story when we follow our hearts. Stay well and safe.