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LATIN AMERICA | 29-04-2024 17:52

United States reprimands five Latin American nations in parental kidnapping report

There are many cases pending with the United States.

The United States government has accused Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras and Peru of breaching obligations on the unlawful retention of children by either parent.

In a report issued by the US State Department on Monday, Washington said as many as 16 nations were failing to meet requirements in the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

“Unfortunately, there are countries reluctant to ratifying or adhering to the [Hague] Convention and others which, albeit signatory to the treaty, fail to meet their commitments”, said Wasington’s top diplomat, Antony Blinken, in the annual report.

The blacklist includes 16 countries in total, including two new ones: Montenegro and Poland. 

The report said that, as of late 2023, Argentina had two unresolved cases with the United States, one of them dating back 13 years and six months, “the longest” dispute in the US State Department’s records. 

Brazil had a whopping 21 cases last year, according to the US government. In 2023, two children returned” to the United States from the giant Latin American nation, but there were “delays by court authorities” in the processing of some cases, Washington said.

As for Ecuador, with two disputes in 2023, the United States said it is worried that the dissolution of the National Congress has prevented voting reforms to laws regarding minors. 

Honduras was also dragging two cases, though US President Joe Biden’s government acknowledged that “major efforts” had been made to solve “systemic problems.”

Peru had seven cases pending, half as many as in 2022. 

Generally speaking, if a parent files a request for return or visitation rights under the Hague Convention, the information is submitted to the authority of the country where the minor is believed to be.

After confirming the location of the child, a voluntary solution is sought or a mediation between the parents is offered. If they do not reach an agreement, the case is referred to courts.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty that establishes a civil mechanism for the of return minors who have been moved or withheld outside their usual place of residence in violation of custody rights.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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