The US today accused India of not adhering to any protocol with respect to international parental child abduction, claiming 90 per cent of requests for the return of “abducted children” remained unresolved for over a year.
International parental child abduction (IPCA) generally refers to the “wrongful removal” or “wrongful retention” to another country of a child by the child’s parent or guardian.
The State Department in its latest Annual Report on IPCA described India as a “non-compliant country”, a tag the country carries since 2014 when the first report came out.
“India does not adhere to any protocols with respect to international parental child abduction. In 2017, India demonstrated a pattern of non-compliance. Specifically, the competent authorities in India persistently failed to work with the Department of State to resolve abduction cases,” the report said.
“As a result of this failure, 90 per cent of requests for the return of abducted children remained unresolved for more than 12 months. On average, these cases were unresolved for one year and ten months,” it said.
The 2017 annual report cites countries such as Argentina, Brazil, China, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, Peru, United Arab Emirates, Columbia, Egypt, Panama, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tunisia and Ukraine.
“I am personally committed to pressing these countries to take more effective measures to resolve cases of IPCA on behalf of children and families around the world,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a forward to the report.
As a Party to the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Convention), the US believes that the courts in a child’s place of habitual residence should resolve matters of custody, and that abducted children should be promptly returned to their country of habitual residence, Pompeo said.