February 25th, 2012
United States Reported Outbound Cases Of International Parental Child Abduction
Declines by 15.3%.
December 4th, 2012
U.S. Senate Resolution Unanimously Passes
Senate Condems International Parental Child Abduction
Welcome to the Official Website Of The
International Child Abduction Research & Enlightenment Foundation
A New York State Registered 501-C-3 Not-For-Profit Corporation
I CARE Foundation
Welcome to the official website of the International Child Abduction Research & Enlightenment Foundation (the I CARE Foundation). The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation registered under the corporation laws of New York State. We are a self-funded organization and do not accept contributions or donations from the public.
The I CARE Foundation was created by notable child advocates possessing expertise and knowledge in the area of international parental child abduction prevention and reunification. The Foundation's Board of Directors and Special Advisory Board consist of child advocates possessing diverse, but qualified skill sets that enable the Foundation to socially contribute in efforts and dialog created to protect children from the criminal act of international parental kidnapping and child abuse, as international parental child abduction is a serious offense against innocent, defenseless children.
Currently, global acts of international parental child abduction have reached pandemic levels. Cross-border parental child kidnapping is not immune to any civilized nation possessing open borders. Various studies forecast this crime against children to continue to grow at a rate of at least 20% per year.
Tragically, hundreds of thousands of children are believed to be targeted each year for international parental child abduction. According to recent studies, international parental child abduction may experience as many as 100,000 to 125,000 defenseless American child-citizens criminally abducted abroad or illegally detained abroad by one parent without permission of the child's other parent or in violation of a court's order over the next decade (FY 2012 to FY 2022). In Canada, projected international parental child kidnappings may reach as many as 15,000 - 17,000 cases over the same period. In Europe, similar to South America, international parental child abduction has reached epidemic proportions.
Sadly, the vast majority of internationally abducted children never come home. Various studies put the number of children who are returned from to the United States at approximately 10% to 12.5%, though we acknowledge the number of actual reunification may be considerably lower (reunification rates are based upon 'reported' and anticipated 'unreported' cases of abduction).
There are many reasons why the recovery rate of abducted children is so low. They include, but are not limited to a failure of many nations to participate in international child abduction recovery treaties such as the Hague Convention On The Civil Aspects Of International Child Abduction (Notably Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria and the Philippines), while other signatory nations to the Hague Convention fail to comply with the intent and purpose of the convention (Notably, Poland, Germany, Brazil, and Mexico). Recovery difficulties by parents are not simply limited to the political landscape. There are very serious and troubling conditions targeted parents face in their attempt to protect their stolen children. This includes that in the United States, the entire financial responsibility and burden a parent faces when attempting to find, litigate, and bring home their criminally abducted child rests solely on them. These costs are enormous, and prohibitive for many parents. Additionally, a targeted parent of abduction must generally navigate the incredible legal mazes that exist when juxtaposing local jurisdictional laws of the outbound country (the laws of jurisdiction associated where the child lived prior to the abduction), the laws of the nation where the child is residing and was illegally taken to (the inbound nation), and finally, international laws established if both the inbound and outbound nation are signatory members of a treaty (such as the Hague Convention in the United States and Canada). Obviously there are many other great challenges a parent and child victimized by abduction may face.
According to both an assortment of government agencies and non-government agencies familiar with international child abduction, parents who criminally internationally abduct their child generally use their child as a pawn against the other parent in order to cause the targeted parent pain and suffering. Though we acknowledge that their are unique cases where a parent charged with international child abduction commits the act of abduction in order to leave an abusive situation, we believe that it is necessary that all individuals abide by the laws of the nation they live in, and seek legal assistance and relief in accordance to the laws they are governed by. Of particular note is that both men and women abductors often claim neglect, abuse, and danger to both themselves and the child they have either illegally removed from the country of jurisdiction or wrongfully detained in a foreign country. Many instances of claims of abuse occur in order for a parental child abductor to defend against the criminal act of abduction. Specifically, under Article 13 b of the Hague Convention, a legal defense by an abductor may be put forth so long as the taking parent can argue under specific conditions that it is not in the best interest of the child for the international courts to order for the child to be returned to the country of original jurisdiction.
The I CARE Foundation strongly believes that international parental child abduction is an act of child abuse. In the United States it is a crime under the federal International Parental Kidnapping Crimes Act, along with kidnapping and abduction statutes that exist in every state. Canada has similar laws.
As our world becomes more connected, and individuals born in different countries travel abroad, marry or enter into relationships that eventually bear a child or children with an individual from a different country, the reality is that a proportion of these relationships end. When some of these relationships end, a growing number of parents born in a foreign country but living abroad with their child desire to return to their native country without the child's other parent. Aware that they may face many challenges legally relocating to another country with their child, all-to-often, these parents attempt to relocate abroad without the other parent 's consent or a court's order. When they do this, this is an act of abduction. In addition, there are times when a parent may attempt to internationally abduct a child of the relationship in order to use the child for monetary gain.
It is critical that governments everywhere pass and uphold laws and policies geared to prevent international parental child abduction. Additionally, it is critical that all countries enter into and uphold international treaties geared toward protecting children from abduction and establish and uphold measures that would ensure the swift return of an abducted child. We assert that substantial sanctions should be enforced by governments everywhere against countries that neither enter into international treaties such as the Hague Convention On The Civil Aspects Of International Child Abduction or fail to uphold the intent and purpose of the treaty.
The primary mission of the I CARE Foundation is to conduct research in the area of international parental child abduction, use our research and knowledge to educate legal professionals and society in general of the grave issues surrounding and associated with international parental child abduction, and participate in the social and political dialog geared to create new laws and policies that will protect children from abduction.
Our website is presently undergoing a significant update, so please make sure to visit us again in the near future.