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Author Topic: Rep. Chris Smith vows to fight abduction of U.S. kids  (Read 1701 times)

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Offline liesl78

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Rep. Chris Smith vows to fight abduction of U.S. kids
« on: December 26, 2009, 07:40:15 PM »
http://www.app.com/article/20091226/NEWS/912260314/Rep.-Chris-Smith-vows-to-fight-abduction-of-U.S.-kids

December 26, 2009

Rep. Chris Smith vows to fight abduction of U.S. kids
 
By GRAELYN BRASHEAR
COASTAL MONMOUTH BUREAU

Before he boarded a jet in Rio de Janeiro with his 9-year-old son Sean on Thursday, David Goldman wrote a letter.


His note was released the same day by Rep. Chris Smith, the Republican from New Jersey's 4th district who became an active supporter of Goldman during the Tinton Falls father's five-year fight to regain custody of his son from his Brazilian in-laws.
Goldman's former wife, now deceased, took their son to Brazil in 2004, and his struggle to bring Sean home garnered international attention.


"I hope the momentum keeps growing and the attention does not fade," Goldman wrote in the letter, after thanking the people who supported him during the long custody battle, "because there are more fathers and mothers and children to reunite."


The family's flight has since touched down on U.S. soil, but Smith and others have vowed to keep up the fight against what officials say is a growing problem in the United States and elsewhere: the abduction of children, often by one of their own parents, to other countries.


In 1980, the United States joined 67 other countries in signing a treaty that established guidelines for returning children taken from one member country to another. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction hasn't stopped parental abductions from rising, however, even in member countries.


According to U.S. State Department reports, more than 1,000 new cases involving children abducted from the United States by a parent or guardian were reported in the government's 2008 fiscal year, compared to fewer than 800 reported cases in fiscal year 2007.


Of the 2008 abductions, 776 were to Hague Convention member countries, an annual report said. Overall, 2,800 children currently are being held by family in foreign countries, according to a report by Congress.


In June, Smith introduced a bill that he hopes will turn around those statistics. If enacted, the International Child Abduction Prevention Act of 2009 would appoint an ambassador whose sole duty is to pursue abduction cases. It also would give the president and State Department the power to punish noncompliant countries with sanctions.


"Our current system is not providing justice for left behind parents or for children whisked away from their mom or dad," Smith stated in a recent news release. "Congress must act so that more children are not further traumatized by parental abduction."


Other New Jersey lawmakers have weighed in, too. Rep. Rush D. Holt has pressured House leaders to support the legislation. After Goldman was reunited Thursday with his son, the 12th District Democrat said in a statement that "the problem of international parental child abduction did not start with this case, and our efforts to end it must continue, even as David and Sean Goldman resume their life together."


No action has been taken on the bill since September, but Smith said recently he hopes Goldman's success is a "harbinger of a whole new era" of reuniting parents with abducted children.


"David Goldman has launched a human rights movement that will help others," he said.
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Offline gr8one

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Re: Rep. Chris Smith vows to fight abduction of U.S. kids
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2009, 07:41:01 PM »
Now that is great news!

JonathanR

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Re: Rep. Chris Smith vows to fight abduction of U.S. kids
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2009, 07:44:08 PM »
Wonderful man he is!
« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 10:07:25 PM by LukieD »

Offline forsean

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Re: Rep. Chris Smith vows to fight abduction of U.S. kids
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2009, 08:28:42 PM »
The problem of international parental child abduction may not have started with this case but it most certainly helped bring it to light and made the world aware that it's real and that there are other left behind parents who need help to get their children back.  David's love and determination to win Sean back clearly paved the way.  There's hope!

Offline lisacallenwood

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Re: Rep. Chris Smith vows to fight abduction of U.S. kids
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2009, 07:59:58 AM »
Saw this on the front page of the Asbury Park Press this a.m.
 
GREAT news!!

Offline liesl78

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Re: Rep. Chris Smith vows to fight abduction of U.S. kids
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2009, 08:50:01 AM »
Terra News Website is definitely taking advantage of the momentum and reporting that there are "155 unresolved Sean cases in Brazil" from several countries.
 
http://terratv.terra.com.br/Noticias/Brasil/4194-258875/Brasil-tem-155-casos-Sean-nao-resolvidos.htm
 
I suspect the number is higher, since they claim the US only requested repatriation of 35 kids. They also said Brazil is awaiting the repatriation of 60+ kids from different countries.
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Offline Sashia

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Re: Rep. Chris Smith vows to fight abduction of U.S. kids
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2009, 09:54:07 AM »
Any reason we can't help Brazil get back those 60 children? There are enough people here from enough countries that this could be an international effort. Are we here just to see that 2800 American children are returned to their parent? International kidnapping is a global problem. If we begin to break the bricks from the wall, the wall may come tumbling down, and there would be universal compliance with the Hague. Beginning with the U.S and Brazil then on to Mexico, Japan and so forth. Compliance has been for so long, for so many a mere suggestion. Once it becomes a no brainer, children should be sent home much quicker. Too bad we can't enlist the help of the State Dept. in a TRUE count of how many more children are in Brazil and what the hold up is.
I read an article that says "U.S. asks for 25 other children held in Brazil." Who in the U.S. asked this? The State Dept?

Offline Mom25

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Re: Rep. Chris Smith vows to fight abduction of U.S. kids
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2009, 12:22:34 PM »
We ought to support him big time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he is a GREAT and my favorite politician!!!
Mom25 (She of Many Names)
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Offline Grace

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Re: Rep. Chris Smith vows to fight abduction of U.S. kids
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2009, 01:27:55 PM »
I think David's case is going to really speed up things for other parents. International child abduction did not have this kind of attention. Chris Smith is doing a great job and all these LBP now have a leader. It's really great news.