Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Rise in International child flee cases

A Report out this week by Lord Justice Thorpe, chief of the Office of the Head of International Family Justice (a body set up to try and ensure that courts in Britain and abroad work together where necessary), has confirmed the significant rise in child abduction cases in England and Wales.

This is where a parent flees with their child to a different country, without the other’s permission.

In 2007 there were 27 children caught up in such cases. This figure increased to 180 in 2011; and is set to rise even further to 240 this year.

Reasons for the increase in such international disputes are thought to be immigration; the increasing ease of travel; and the rising number of families where at least one parent has links to another country.  65 per cent of children born in London in 2010 have one foreign parent.  This creates ‘the potential for significant future growth’ in these cases as described by Lord Justice Thorpe.

The introduction of child passports by the previous Labour government was hoped to stop parents taking children abroad in defiance of court orders or the other parent.  However, these statistics suggest that this aim has not been realised.

It is understood that the rising number of these cases mostly involve eastern European countries. The report mentions that in Europe most cases involve children taken to or from Germany and Poland.

We understand the distress and anxiety of losing your child and will take immediate action to track them down through the appropriate legal channels.  For more information and advice from a child abduction specialist call us on 0800 840 4929. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Also, follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

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