Friday, March 14, 2014
On February 27th, 2014 the U.S. Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations conducted a hearing before the Honorable Committee Chairman Senator Menendez and Majority Representative Senator Crocker to discuss international parental child abduction and proposed HR. 3212 legislation allowing the President of the United States the ability to sanction other countries the U.S. government believes to be non-complying with the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention.
The I CARE Foundation applauds all stakeholders working to stop abduction while advocating for the rightful return of all abducted children to their country of original jurisdiction. There is no question that a collective effort by all countries to prevent child abduction and efficiently return abducted children to their home country must immediately occur. This said, we believe it critical that all offered solutions protect the viability of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention, and, not jeopardize the recovery of children presently abducted or who may be a target of abduction in the future.
Respectfully, we submit that the testimony provided by Peter Thomas Senese on behalf of the I CARE Foundation supports an immediate synchronized efforts by all U.S. Ambassadors to resolve the issues of American child-victims of kidnapping while escalating the functionality of the Hague Conference Secretariat. Contrary to the position of others who have submitted testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, we believe passing legislation granting the United States government to sanction any other country for non-compliance to the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention or creating and upholding an MOU must only occur if all other options are explored and have failed. This has not occurred as of yet. In addition, we respectfully submit that the failure of abducted children to be returned to their home country is not simply an American problem but a global pandemic. The reality is there are many children wrongfully detained in the United States due to actions that have unfolded in American courtrooms that are not in line with the intent and guidelines established by the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention, thus creating significant hardship for families living abroad victimized by abduction. These issues and viable solutions are offered in Mr. Senese's submitted testimony.
We believe there are key immediate provisions the U.S. government can implement that will prevent abduction, and on a global scale, we believe several of the recommendations provided in Mr. Senese's extensive testimony offer real solutions on the global abduction front. In particular, we believe the I CARE Foundation's 'International Child Travel Consent Form' is the most efficient and effective tool all signatory countries of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention must utilize.
We invite you to read the testimony submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations by Mr. Peter Thomas Senese on behalf of the I CARE Foundation along with the insightful testimony of:
Ambassador Susan Jacobs on behalf of the U.S. Department of State
Mr. Ernie Allan on behalf of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Mr. David Goldman of the Bring Sean Home Foundation