Improving Implementation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First Session, July 28, 2011   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the opening statement of Christopher H. Smith: "I want to thank you for joining us this afternoon for this second hearing in our series focusing on the deeply disturbing and seemingly intractable problem of international child abduction, which occurs when one parent unlawfully moves a child from his or her country of residence, often for the purpose of denying the other parent access to the child. I believe it to be a major global human rights abuse, a form of child abuse that seriously harms children, while inflicting excruciating emotional pain and suffering on left behind parents and families. On May 24th, at the first hearing in this series, this committee heard from six left-behind parents: One success story and five stories of deep and continuing agony and separation." Some of the lessons learned by these parents have been included in the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2011, or H.R. (House Resolution) 1940, which calls for introducing an Ambassador-at-Large dedicated to this issue of child abduction, similar to those in place for trafficking. It also stipulates punitive actions and sanctions that could be imposed on a noncooperative nation. However, "[d]iplomatic overtures and admonishing words are simply not enough. […] It is on behalf of left-behind parents and recognition of the extreme pain they suffer as victims and in recognition of our own duty as the U.S. Government that will bring these kids home that we hold this hearing today." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Christopher H. Smith, Susan Jacobs, Kurt Campbell, and Russ Carnahan.

Report Number:
Serial No. 112-101
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Printing Office, Federal Digital System: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/
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