Tuesday, June 5, 2007

New York State Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse

"All 50 States and the District of Columbia currently have missing children’s clearinghouses, which are established by executive order or legislative mandate. Setting up clearinghouses has proved less difficult than providing them with adequate funding to carry out their tasks. Some States have failed to appropriate resources for maintaining their clearinghouses, which then have become merely mailing addresses for individuals seeking information on missing children.

The New York State Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse was established in 1987 to carry out many diverse activities relating to missing and exploited children. It has a long track record of good work and sufficient funding. Because of New York’s major international airports and proximity to Canada, the State’s clearinghouse sees many cases of international parental abduction.

New York’s statutes relating to criminal custodial interference do not cover precustodial abductions and treat postcustodial abductions as a felony only if a child has been taken out of State. Perhaps especially in States with statutes similar to New York’s, clearinghouses can play an important and active role in resolving these difficultcases."


The Legal Work

In the United States and 50 other convention, there is an international treay called the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Internantional Child Abduction. This treaty means that all and any memeber of this treaty will "provide an expeditious method to return a child taken from one member nation to another".

Although some countries have other agreements concerning abduction in addition to The Hague Convention, the United States doesn't. If a child is abducted to a country that is not a party to the Hague Convention or if the child was abducted before the country became a party, then the Hague Convention does not apply.

Parents Abducting Their children

Many children who are abducted to other countries by parents are never returned to the United States. When a parent is left behind after a child has been abducted to another country faces terrible obstacles to finding and recovering the child.

A Parents who abducts their child to other countries are not that different from parents who abduct their children to other States. They often have young children. They usually have support from family or other individuals for what they are doing. They usually have a bad relationship with the other parent, and may have bad feelings about their relationship with the child. Some are convinced that their actions are justified because they believe they rescued their child from the hands of an abusive parent.

Many of the parents feel isolation from American society, and separation and divorce have increased their sense of hostility. Some are running away from domestic violence, while others are controlling and abusive themselves.

Austrilian Child Abduction

Child abduction can happen anywhere, at anyplace, and anytime. Children are being aducted all over the world, in Africa, North America, South America, Central America, even in Austrailia. Every year jus about 170 child abudction cases filed to police.

Alot of these cases are of parents who have abducted their child. "The ISS network comes into contact with an increasing number of cases, due predominantly to more family breakdown and the ease of international travel. The Federal Attorney-General’s Department has recently provided seed funding to enable ISS to undertake a short term research project into International Child Abduction with a central aim of identifying appropriate support models."

For further information about child abduction in Australia, including the Convention, state/territory legislation, general information and useful links can be found at the Attorney-General’s website, child abduction section - http://www.ag.gov.au/agd/www/childabduction.nsf.