INTERNATIONAL PARENTAL CHILD ABDUCTION; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 154
(Senate - December 04, 2012)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages S7403-S7404]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                 INTERNATIONAL PARENTAL CHILD ABDUCTION

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of Calendar No. 528, S. 
Res. 543.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 543) to express the sense of the 
     Senate on international parental child abduction.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
resolution, which had been reported from the Committee on Foreign 
Relations, with amendments in the nature of a substitute to the 
preamble and the resolutions as follows:

  [Strike the parts shown in boldface brackets and insert in lieu 
thereof the parts shown in italic.]

                              S. Res. 543

       Whereas international parental child abduction is a tragic 
     and common occurrence;
       Whereas the abduction of a child by one parent is a 
     heartbreaking loss for the left-behind parent and deprives 
     the child of a relationship with 2 loving parents;
       Whereas, according to the Report on Compliance with the 
     Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child 
     Abduction of the United States Department of State from April 
     2010, research shows that abducted children are at risk of 
     significant short- and long-term problems, including 
     ``anxiety, eating problems, nightmares, mood swings, sleep 
     disturbances, [and] aggressive behavior'';
       Whereas, according to that report, left-behind parents may 
     also experience substantial psychological and emotional 
     issues, including feelings of ``betrayal, sadness over the 
     loss of their children or the end of their marriage, anger 
     toward the other parent, anxiety, sleeplessness, and severe 
     depression'', as well as financial strain while fighting for 
     the return of a child;
       Whereas, since 1988, the United States, which has a treaty 
     relationship under the Convention on the Civil Aspects of 
     International Child Abduction, done at The Hague October 25, 
     1980 (TIAS 11670) (referred to in this preamble as the 
     ``Hague Abduction Convention'') with 69 other countries, has 
     agreed with its treaty partners to follow the terms of the 
     Hague Abduction Convention;

[[Page S7404]]

       Whereas the Hague Abduction Convention provides a legal 
     framework for securing the prompt return of wrongfully 
     removed or retained children to the countries of their 
     habitual residence where competent courts can make decisions 
     on issues of custody and the best interests of the children;
       Whereas, according to the United States Department of 
     State, the number of new cases of international child 
     abduction from the United States increased from 579 in 2006 
     to 941 in 2011;
       Whereas, in 2011, those 941 cases involved 1,367 children 
     who were reported abducted from the United States by a parent 
     and taken to a foreign country;
       Whereas, in 2011, more than 660 children who were abducted 
     from the United States and taken to a foreign country were 
     returned to the United States;
       Whereas 7 of the top 10 countries to which children from 
     the United States were most frequently abducted in 2011 are 
     parties to the Hague Abduction Convention, including Mexico, 
     Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ecuador, Brazil, and 
     Colombia;
       Whereas Japan, India, and Egypt are not parties to the 
     Hague Abduction Convention and were also among the top 10 
     countries to which children in the United States were most 
     frequently abducted in 2011;
       Whereas, in many countries, such as Japan and India, 
     international parental child abduction is not considered a 
     crime, and custody rulings made by courts in the United 
     States are not typically recognized by courts in those 
     countries; and
       Whereas Japan is the only member of the Group of 7 major 
     industrialized countries that has not yet become a party to 
     the Hague Abduction Convention: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved,
       That--
       (1) the Senate--
       (A) condemns the international abduction of all children;
       (B) urges countries identified by the United States 
     Department of State as noncompliant or demonstrating patterns 
     of noncompliance with the Convention on the Civil Aspects of 
     International Child Abduction, done at The Hague October 25, 
     1980 (TIAS 11670) (referred to in this resolution as the 
     ``Hague Abduction Convention'') to fulfill their commitment 
     under international law to expeditiously implement the 
     provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention;
       (C) calls on all countries to become a party to the Hague 
     Abduction Convention and to promptly institute measures to 
     equitably and transparently address cases of international 
     parental child abduction; and
       (D) calls on all countries that have not become a party to 
     the Hague Abduction Convention to develop a mechanism for the 
     resolution of current and future cases of international 
     parental child abduction that occur before those countries 
     become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention in order to 
     facilitate the prompt return of children abducted to those 
     countries to the children's countries of habitual residence; 
     and
       (2) it is the sense of the Senate that the United States 
     should--
       (A) vigorously pursue the return of each child abducted by 
     a parent from the United States to another country through 
     all appropriate means, facilitate access by the left-behind 
     parent if the child is not returned, and, where appropriate, 
     seek the extradition of the parent that abducted the child;
       (B) take all appropriate measures to ensure that a child 
     abducted to a country that is a party to the Hague Abduction 
     Convention is returned to the country of habitual residence 
     of the child in compliance with the provisions of the Hague 
     Abduction Convention;
       (C) continue to use diplomacy to encourage other countries 
     to become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention and to 
     take the necessary steps to effectively fulfill their 
     responsibilities under the Hague Abduction Convention;
       (D) use diplomacy to encourage countries that have not 
     become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention to develop 
     an institutionalized mechanism to transparently and 
     expeditiously resolve current and future cases of 
     international child abduction that occur before those 
     countries become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention; 
     and
       (E) review the advisory services made available to United 
     States citizens by the United States Department of State, the 
     United States Department of Justice, and other United States 
     Government agencies--
       (i) to improve the prevention of international parental 
     child abduction from the United States; and
       (ii) to ensure that effective and timely assistance is 
     provided to United States citizens who are parents of 
     children abducted from the United States and taken to foreign 
     countries.

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I further ask unanimous consent that 
the committee-reported amendment be agreed to and the Senate proceed to 
a voice vote on adoption of the resolution, as amended.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate?
  If not, the question is on agreeing to the resolution, as amended.
  The resolution (S. Res. 543), as amended, was agreed to.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I further ask unanimous consent that 
the committee-reported amendment to the preamble be agreed to, the 
preamble, as amended, be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be 
considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or 
debate, and that any statements relating to the measure be printed in 
the Record.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute was agreed to.
  The preamble, as amended, was agreed to.

                          ____________________