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Author Topic: Required Reading on International Child Abduction  (Read 7015 times)

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Offline SageDad

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Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« on: January 18, 2010, 03:55:35 PM »
I was forwarded the contact information of a journalist looking to do some research on International Child Abduction with an eye towards writing articles on the topic and raising awareness.  

I responded by sending her a list of the excellent articles written by Timothy Maier on the subject.  These were written around 2000 and, in this case, the old adage that the more things change the more things stay the same, is unfortunately a sage one.  These articles do an excellent job of illustrating this issue and should be required reading for anyone hoping to truly understand what American parents face in their efforts to recover their children.  I have linked to several of these articles at one point or another in various posts in this forum but here they all are in reverse chronological order.

Timothy Maier's articles:

Data Missing on Missing Children (Issue date 9/2/2002)
So how many children are missing, from where and what are their names? No one knows for sure. Dave Thelen, chief executive officer for the nonprofit Committee for Missing Children Inc., has been trying to get reliable statistics for years and would like to see NCMEC back up its numbers with a complete database of names and case histories
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/datamissing.pdf

Kids Abandoned On Ryan's Watch (7/29/2002)
Ryan also angered parents by calling these kidnapping cases "custody disputes." The term infuriated parents who pointed out that in many cases courts formally had given custody to American parents from whom a child was kidnapped, and in others international warrants had been issued for the arrest of the kidnappers.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/ryans.pdf

Kids Held Hostage in Saudi Arabia (Issue date 6/24/2002)
After a recent emotionally charged congressional hearing Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, vowed to persuade President George W. Bush to take action against Saudi Arabian kidnappers who have held U.S. children captive in some cases as long as 16 years.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/kidsheld.pdf

Stolen Kids become Pawns in Terror War (Issue date 11/27/2001)
As the war in Afghanistan continued, many of America's forgotten children remained trapped in Middle Eastern countries that soon could be pulled into war as the United States considers strikes against other states that sponsor terrorism. These stolen children — perhaps as many as 11,000 U.S. citizens — were stripped of their civil rights the day they became victims of international parental kidnapping.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/stolenkids.pdf

Complicity in Child Abduction (Issue date 7/23/2001)
An estimated 15,000 U.S. children remain abroad after being abducted by a parent. But the State Department is pursuing action in less than 30 Hague Convention cases.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/forgottenchildren.pdf

All Talk, No Action on Stolen Children (Issue date 18/6/2001)
Although Congress has called on foreign nations to abide by the Hague Convention on parental child abductions, the U.S. government is not really offering parents much help.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/alltalk.pdf

Countries Ignore Hague Convention (Issue date 12/18/00)
Reports released by the GAO and State Department show that the U.S. government is failing to help return to their American parents children illegally abducted overseas.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/internationalchild.pdf

A Double Standard for Our Children (Issue date 10/7/00)
The case of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez has received attention at the highest levels of government, while the plight of American children kidnapped abroad isn’t on the agenda.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/double.pdf

America's Forgotten Kids (Issue date 5/1/00)
The nation is struggling in the throes of the Elian Gonzalez case but, despite the attention paid to the plight of the Cuban boy, kidnapped Americans continue to rate only a nod.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/americas.pdf

State's New Smoke Screen (Issue date 4/3/00)
Out of the glare of the Elian Gonzalez spotlight, internationally kidnapped American children languish overseas as the State Department offers doublespeak to reporters and parents.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/smoke.pdf

A Great Escape (Issue date 2/14/00)
She couldn’t find a hero, so 13-year-old Dria Davis became one, devising a plan to leave a father she says kidnapped, beat and held her captive in his native Saudi Arabia for two years.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/escape.pdf

Justice Ignores Stolen Kids (Issue date 11/29/99)
Despite recent testimony before Congress by beleaguered parents of internationally kidnapped children, State and Justice departments continue to dismiss these crimes
http://www.findthekids.com/pdf/justice.pdf

State Abandons Kidnapped Kids (Issue date 6/14/99)
Two State Department reports -- yet to be made public but obtained by Insight -- don't tell the true story of the government's failure to help rescue children abducted to foreign countries.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/state.pdf

Kidnapped Kids Cry Out for Help (Issue date 5/10/99)
Insight's investigation of child abductions has initiated widespread concern, but despite plenty of lip service about this issue, the first couple has not taken public leadership.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/kidnapped.pdf

Kids Held Hostage (Issue date 3/8/99)
When it comes to international abductions by foreign spouses, the government often places diplomacy above the needs of American children and their parents.
http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/hostage.pdf
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 03:49:28 PM by carlos »
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Offline SageDad

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Re: Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 06:56:23 PM »
It's not written by Mr. Meier but I think this editorial from the WSJ deserves a place on this list

'I Am an American'
The State Department sends in the Marines to consign a U.S. citizen to Saudi hell.
http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110001972
“What you seek is seeking you.”
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Offline KatiMurphy

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Re: Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 10:12:56 PM »
That last story is heartbreaking. Has there been any news on her status?

Offline SageDad

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Re: Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 12:19:14 AM »
Quote from: KatiMurphy;66227
That last story is heartbreaking. Has there been any news on her status?

Americans Trapped in Saudi Arabia 4 of 4: Who Will Move a Mountain?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 03:10:07 PM by Bob D'Amico »
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Offline NativeNewYorker

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Re: Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2010, 01:03:23 AM »
This is just outrageous! I'm speechless. Was that video of Ms. Stowers recent? I see the article from the WSJ is dated 2002.


Quote from: carlos;66210
It's not written by Mr. Meier but I think this editorial from the WSJ deserves a place on this list

'I Am an American'
The State Department sends in the Marines to consign a U.S. citizen to Saudi hell.
http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110001972

Offline SageDad

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Re: Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2010, 10:07:40 AM »
Quote from: NativeNewYorker;66233
This is just outrageous! I'm speechless. Was that video of Ms. Stowers recent? I see the article from the WSJ is dated 2002.


No it's not recent.  That video was from the June 12, 2002 Committee on Government Reform at which Monica Stowers, Patrcia Roush and Dria Davis testified.  Transcripts of their full testimony are on Ms. Roush's website
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Offline Mom25

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Re: Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2010, 10:28:02 AM »
Excellent resource! I am so sadden, outraged and angry with all these stories and they are just a FEW of them.... It amazes me how the US Gov't has turned their back over and over again to these people.
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Offline SageDad

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Re: Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2010, 11:28:36 AM »
If you've read the other articles about Saudi Arabia specifically and watched the videos of the hearings you'll be interested to know that Congressman Burton, who chaired those hearings, subsequently worked to support a policy begun by Ray Mabus, the former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia that testified in those videos, in which he denied visas to the family of kidnappers, and pass a law to formalize such a visa policy for all non-Hague countries   This artilce helps explains State's response to  Ambassador Mabus's and Congressman Burton's efforts to use visas to help families of abducted children...

Siege of State
American diplomats need a lesson in how to represent Americans.
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110002015

Quote from: article

In the mid-1990s, U.S. Ambassador to Riyadh Ray Mabus (a political appointee, not a career diplomat) actually tried to use visas to sway the Saudis, and to good effect. He revoked U.S. visas for any member of a Saudi family related to Alia and Aisha Gheshayan, two other U.S. citizens detained in the kingdom. This brought the Saudi government to the bargaining table with a deal for their freedom. But Mr. Mabus's policy was overruled by his successor, and the deal fell through.

--------

[In spite of those and other efforts] ...there's reason to doubt that the culture of State has changed. The real spirit of State was revealed in an e-mail circulated by Chuck Keil, a State careerist and acting ambassador to Italy, that was leaked earlier this week.

The e-mail said that Mr. Burton's attempts at visa oversight showed that "the spirit of Joe McCarthy is alive and well" and went on to "fervently hope" that "Secretary Powell and his leadership team can find a Joseph Welch to step up to confront the likes of Dan Burton and his ilk." Another officer, Columbia Barrosee, hailed this as "an excellent message," and suggested that any non-career officer appointed to the Ryan post would be a "neo-Nazi." In other words, Saudis who imprison American citizens deserve an express pass to the Mayo Clinic, but elected representatives of the American people are witch hunters.
“What you seek is seeking you.”
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Offline Mom25

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Re: Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2010, 02:08:29 PM »
Another story worth reading...

Maha was one out of 3 kids that was once kidnapped to Saudi (by her father) and brought back to the US by her mother with the help of the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia (2003)... if he had denied the help, "60 Minutes" was live on spot to make a huge mess out of it!

American Children Forced To Live In Saudi Arabia

From the above 2003 article: "The State Department, in my opinion, for the past 10-15-20 years, has not done their job properly," says Burton. "Every Embassy in the world, every consulate in the world ought to be a safe haven for American citizens."

Later on Maha's story was shared via a documentary NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER, of course, by 60 Minutes.
Mom25 (She of Many Names)
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Offline SageDad

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Re: Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2010, 11:22:42 PM »
Another important article on International Child Abduction:

In "Abducted Children: Should State Do More?" , diplomatic correspondent George Gedda explores why American parents may feel abandoned by the U.S. government. Though the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs has the responsibility to help those parents, the attention and clout of the U.S. government have seldom been brought to bear.
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Offline SageDad

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Indifference Adds To Parents' Horror; U.S. Accused of Failing to Help
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2010, 10:45:57 AM »
Indifference Adds To Parents' Horror; U.S. Accused of Failing to Help                

Indifference Adds To Parents' Horror; U.S. Accused of Failing to Help in Abductions

The Washington Post December 24, 2000
By: Cindy Loose

http://hagueabductions.com/Hague-Case/indifference-adds-to-parents-horror-us-accused-of-failing-to-help.html
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Offline SageDad

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Re: Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2010, 01:09:26 AM »
The Hague Child Abduction Convention: Diminishing Returns and Little to Celebrate for Americans

This paper, by Tom Johnson, is one of the best on the subject that I've ever read.  I look at it again from time to time as my understanding of the area improves and appreciate more and more how incredibly knowledgeable and insightful Johnson is on international child abduction.  The paper is also about 10 years old and it's a little out of date.  Parts of it are either incomplete or incorrect.  Specifically, newer evidence shows that the US is not as good at complying with the Hague Convention as earlier reports had indicated.  The report quotes statements made by State that claimed a 90% return rate for children abducted into the US.  It now appears that the real number is just over 50% (though it's possible that our return rate has changed over time due to the changing demographics of child abductors.)  I'm also disappointed that he didn't take some time to speak about Mexico, who even then, was displaying signs of significant noncompliance in a manner that would later be emulated by the rest of Latin America.. but his area of expertise and study was focused on Europe.

http://www.findthekids.org/pdf/johnson.pdf

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Offline SageDad

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Re: Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2011, 12:54:09 PM »
I am resurrecting this thread to add a new article to it.  This is also from Tom Johnson (an author already cited above in the article "The Hague Child Abduction Convention: Diminishing Returns and Little to Celebrate for Americans.")

STATEMENT OF THOMAS A. JOHNSON
(TESTIFYING AS THE PARENT OF AN AMERICAN CHILD WRONGFULLY
RETAINED IN SWEDEN)
BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS UNITED
STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

http://www.findthekids.com/pdf/thomas1.pdf
“What you seek is seeking you.”
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Offline Diane

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Re: Required Reading on International Child Abduction
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2011, 03:36:04 PM »
Curious as to the outcome of the cases on this thread.   Also, think it might benefit some of the present LBPs to know what if anything helped these older case parents to get through this and if they have any idea's, looking back in retrospect as to what or who was helpful at the time that could now be built upon.

Of course,  many,  would choose not to look back, and that is certainly understandable too.