Mar 23, 2012
At a congressional mark-up Tuesday, a bill designed to empower the U.S. State Department with more tools to achieve the return of children abducted from the U.S. and to enforce the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction will be voted on by Members of the House panel that oversees human rights. According to the U.S. State Department, over 3,200 new international parental child abduction cases involving over 4,700 children were reported from October 2007 to December 2010.
The mark-up will be held by Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), chairman of the House congressional human rights subcommittee. At the hearing will be left-behind parents, including David Goldman, father of Sean Goldman who was abducted to Brazil. Goldman engaged in a widely-publicized, grueling, five-year battle to see his son again and bring him home on Dec. 24, 2009. He agreed to have the bill, H.R. 1940, named the “David and Sean Goldman International Child Abduction and Return Act.” Smith chaired a 2011 hearing
of distraught ‘left-behind’ parents, most of whom, unlike Goldman, have never seen their children again after the abduction.
Japan, a top offender, is the only G-8 nation to not sign the treaty. The Congress is not aware of any case where a Japanese court has issued and enforced an order to return an abducted child to the U.S. Further, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the European Union, Spain, the U.K. & France have all pressed Japan to sign the treaty, and return abducted children.
Who: Congressman Smith
, Chairman of the human rights
subcommittee of the
Foreign Affairs Committee; other Members of the committee;
When: Tuesday, March 27- media availability with parents @ 1:30 p.m., mark-up @ 2 p.m.
: 2200 Rayburn House Office Building
on the second floor.