- GENERAL GUIDELENES
In our internationalized and globalized world, there are more and more mixed marriages and extra-marital cohabitation cases. It is logical to expect that there is also a growing number of cross-border partnership conflicts when it comes to separation or divorce. Children of such failed partnerships are often referred to as those who are made to be a conflict instrument — and they get kidnapped or withdrawn. The abducting party relies on legal support and factual benefits in their home country, without regard for the welfare of the child. There is a fine transition, a fine line between child abduction and child abuse, for example by isolation or long period of chaotic travel from place to place.
In order to curb this abuse at those small and vulnerable, the majority of states of the world under the civil law joined the Hague Convention on international child abduction (“HCCAICA”) in 1980. The countries participants have pledged themselves to,
- do everything to return children abducted by one of their parents abroad immediately
- guarantee the right of existing custody to the affected parent at the moment when the child is abducted
- take utmost care of child’s will.
The reality is, however, totally different, since there are still a number of countries where abducted children disappear as if in the black hole, to seemingly never be found and brought back to the parents left behind.
With that in mind SOS Kindesentführung e.V. (SOS Child Abduction Registered Association) aspires to:
- Provide legal advising and every possible support to those affected by child abduction,
- Raise awareness of the general public in Germany as well as the whole European community with regard to this matter,
- Persistently demonstrate what measures are required in the national and international framework to improve the welfare of abducted children and those deprived of parental care, as well as to prevent them from this form of ill-treatment,
- To remind – again and again – incessantly the competent German and European authorities of their obligations under the Hague Convention to protect the rights of the children of the United Nations as well as of all the related contracts and laws.
- CURRENT FOCUS
Due to several current and hard cases among its founding members, the association is currently specializing on cases of child abduction to Eastern Europe, taking into account that their parents are Eastern Europeans. The target states in the current focus – Slovakia, Ukraine and Poland – support child abduction by delay in the duration of proceedings, often illegal resolutions may also be adopted in accordance with national law and violation of the Article 13 of HCCAICA.
The authorities and courts of these states generally disregard the HCCAICA as well as the fundamental right of custody, the welfare of the child and the dignity of the foreign parents. There are no effective procedures for HCCAICA-compliant child return operations.
Instead, these States operate a policy of gradual legalization of child abduction.
They manage it by:
- Excessive delay and propagation of the repatriation procedures
- Tolerance of parent-child forced separation and alienation as well as destruction of all family ties to their country of origin – language skills and isolation,
- Protection of the kidnapper-parent against law enforcement actions and sanctions, — even with regard to false statements and slander,
- Factual transfer of sole custody right to the parent, who abducted the child,
- Manipulation with court proceedings and court decisions, along with infringement of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,
- Locking the child and transporting them to the country of origin and
- Effecting repressive measures to discriminate and arbitrarily lockout the left-behind parent.
Support for the left-behind parents by their governments is, unfortunately, rather an absolute exception. In particular, the competent German government agencies themselves systematically hush up HCCAICA violations abroad and themselves surrender destinies of parents and children living in Germany to the impunity and lawlessness of the target states. Complaints and Appeals are routinely blocked out or ignored altogether. The welfare of the child seems to play no role.