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.
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