Congressman Smith To Chair Hearing On International Child Abduction

Apr 11th, 2018 | By | Category: Featured

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Update on the Goldman Act Topic of April 11 Hearing

Between 2008 and 2017, nearly 11,000 children were unlawfully removed from their country of residence by one of their parents, without the consent of the other parent or the permission of the courts; the children in such cases almost always deprived of contact with their other parent. According to State Department estimates, there are around 600 new abductions from the U.S. under such circumstances every year. The return rate of children in these cases is typically less than 20 percent.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), chair of the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, introduced the Sean and David Goldman Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2014, which was signed into law in 2014,  (P.L. 113-150) to provide government assistance to parents of children wrongfully taken from them by the other parent without their consent.

“The Goldman Act gave the U.S. State Department serious enforcement measures of child abduction law, which were lacking in the Hague Convention,” said Smith. “Unfortunately, these new measures were not well put to use in the last Administration, and I am hopeful that the current Administration will use the Goldman Act to hold countries accountable for the sake of broken-hearted parents and their missing children.

Wednesday’s hearing convened by Chairman Smith will provide an update on how well the Goldman Act is being enforced, and will examine inconsistencies in previous annual reports on international child abduction, which are required by the Goldman Act for the State Department to submit to Congress each year by April 30. One of the witnesses who will be testifying, Mr. James Cook, a father of four children abducted in Japan, will provide his own personal story and discuss Japan’s non-compliance with the law.


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