Tuesday, March 4, 2014

International Travel Child Consent Form Presented To U.S. Senate As Abduction Prevention Tool

I would like to share part of a testimony that was provided to the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on behalf of the I CARE Foundation, that deals specifically with the issue of international child abduction.

The I CARE Foundation holds a firm belief that increased efforts in diplomacy, along with meaningful judicial education and training programs, are the solution to the global abduction crisis. We feel that the solutions that were offered to Congress are the most viable, effective and global-reaching ideas which offer both immediate and long-term answers for families of abduction.

This particular section deals specifically with the I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form - which has been an incredibly effective tool in the area of international child abduction prevention since it was developed.

Key Child Abduction Prevention Suggested Mandates:

Mandate Execution Of An International Travel Child Consent Form Steep In Hague Law

Section I – The International Child Travel Consent Form

Perhaps the singular most effective tool to prevent the international parental child abduction of American children and ensure their safe and immediate return to their home country is for Congress to mandate the use of a Hague-centric international travel child consent form and direct various government agencies connected to the welfare of our American child citizens and travel related matters to widely disseminate this form.

Clearly, the majority of international parental child abductions under the rules of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention occur when a child is wrongfully detained in another country. Typically this occurs under the guise of a family vacation.

The I CARE Foundation has created a travel consent form that is steep in Hague-oriented case law with focus on Articles 1, 12, 13 and 20. The I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form was created to remove a parent's legal defenses under Articles 12, 13, and 20 of the Hague Convention who may be scheming to abduct a child prior to an alleged 'family vacation' abroad while also establishing strong support for a child’s immediate return under Article 1 of the Hague Convention.

The Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law Dr. Christophe Bernasconi  recently made the comments concerning the I CARE Foundation travel form: 
"I have had the possibility to look at the travel form and must say that I am impressed: this is the most comprehensive document of its kind that I have seen so far and there is little doubt in my mind that this is a most valuable and important effort to prevent child abduction."
We respectfully point out that there is a current trend for courts around the world to reconsider ‘The Best Interest of the Child’ and include ‘The Best Interest of the Family’ under Article 13 of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention. Clearly, when courts engage in this analysis they create a direct contradiction to the expeditious intent of the convention, which inherently allow for ‘Well-settled claims’ to be lodged by the taking parent.

The I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form and the adjoining legal analysis was created as a mechanism to remove a would-be abductor’s legal defense of abduction prior to the act and cause either law enforcement or courts located in the in-bound country to quickly return the abducted child to their home country of original jurisdiction.

Section II - Conclusion and Recommendation Concerning Travel Consent Form

The I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form has been an effective child abduction prevention tool. Use of the form protects against schemes of abduction to Hague countries and may be useful when abduction occurs to non-Hague countries.

We respectfully suggest that the United States Congress direct the appropriate U.S. governmental agencies to discuss the mandated use of a formal international travel child consent form based upon the design of the I CARE Foundation model. In addition, we respectfully suggest that the Department of State engage with the Hague Conference and suggest that a global Hague Travel Consent Form be developed under the auspices of the Hague Conference and that its use be made mandatory. We are convinced that the mandatory use of a globally recognized Travel Consent Form signed by the left-behind parent (and possibly a notary) will dramatically reduce the number of (American) children who are abducted and equally will assist in the expeditious return of children wrongfully detained abroad if they were abducted. 

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For more information or to download a copy of the I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form please CLICK HERE

Kindest Regards, 

International Executive Director 
The I CARE Foundation

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Peter Senese: A Christmas Letter Of International Child Abduction

Peter Thomas Senese of the I CARE Foundation explores the scheme of an international parental child abductor.

Let me first say this: over the years and the large number of families the I CARE Foundation and I have provided assistance to concerning child abduction, no two cases are alike. However, there are many issues and challenges that are common in many cases of attempted or actual abduction.

I have compiled a fictional letter that portrays the mind of a child abductor intent on abduction during the Christmas Holiday Season.

My Dear Spouse,
In all  honesty, as this letter will be as direct and to the point as I can possibly make it, know the use of  the word 'dear' in my salutation to you is a cruel joke for in reality not only do I loathe you as you are nothing 'dear' to me, but truth is that the contempt I hold for you is so extreme that I will seek to destroy every part of who you are: your career, your status in your community, your spirit, your financial nest-egg, and most of all any identity your children hold toward you as being a good person. In fact, the greatest Christmas Holiday gift I will ever give to myself is the gift of teaching your children how to hate you.

Merry Christmas!

Babe (as in the pig), since I am gone, and there is no way you're ever going to get your children back, let me tell you how I am going to take away from you the one thing in the world you cherish more than anything: your children.

First, you know I have passports for them from my home country that you do not know about. I do not keep them at our home. I am way to smart for that.  And as for the passports issued from their home-country, they are in the same exact place as you have put them a year ago. I don't need those passports. In fact, I will let you do the dirty work for me.

How?

By making you an accomplice to my scheme.

Though things have been somewhat cold in our intimate time together, I will begin to warm up to you. This I will do in late September or early October. I will make you think I love you. That I want to have things work out between us. That perhaps .... it would be good for our relationship that during Christmas that we travel as a family to my home country so our children can see and spend time with my side of the family.

We will pack lots of items: in fact I will have you ship items to my families house on my behalf.   And of course, I will conceal that I am taking the most valuable items we own with me as well.

By the way, do you remember that big fight we had 3 months ago? Well, you are right. I did antagonize you. I wanted you to fight with me.  Sorry that I had to file that police incident report stating that I was scared of you. I wasn't. But you should be terrified of me.  You see, I will use that incident report when I get to my home country, and it will act like a hot knife cutting through butter. Except my spirit will act like the knife and your identity will be the butter.

Babe, can you do me a favor? Make sure you pack the children's electronic games. You know how my parents are so backwards. At least if the kids have their video games we can keep them preoccupied and go have some fun 'alone' time together when we get back to my country.

You're so sweet. I am so excited! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for making this trip possible!

I love you too!

I can't believe we're now at the airport. I had you ship 4 boxes. What a fool you are. Now I have a second defense I will use against you when I don't return back to this horrible place you call home. You see, since you shipped the items, I will say you actually knew we were relocating and had consented to allowing me and the children to relocate. Why else would you ship over 120 pounds of items not to mention the 6 suitcases we have?

Oh ... I also shipped 4 other boxes. But you'll find that out in court soon enough.

Court? Of course. And it will happen sooner than you think.

How?

Well, within the first day of us being at my parents, I will say you hit me. That you threatened my life. And that I am terrified of you. I will say you have done this before. Luckily I have the police report from 3 months ago with me.

And when the police come to arrest you, the attorney I have been working with for the past 6 months will seek a restraining order against you so you can't come near me, our children, or my family.  I will also file for divorce. And I will seek for the court in my home country to take jurisdiction of the children's welfare due to the grave risk that has happened.

Of course they will do so because you knew we were relocating. And of course they will do so because you are a monster.

And so, while you're in jail, I will begin to tell the children how you tried to kill me. And how you want to kill them. 

They will fear you.  But you will fear me.

Merry Christmas Babe.

I got you, Babe.

***********

The I CARE Foundation is sending out an early Fall warning to parents around the world that the Christmas Holiday Season is the second most significant time of year when thousands of children around the world are targeted for international parental child abduction.


The planning for abduction by a parent intending to wrongfully retain a child abroad is occurring now ... several months prior to a planned trip.  So parents need to beware of the warning signs of abduction.


There are not enough words that I can express to urge all parents to utilize the I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form for all children traveling abroad as this new groundbreaking tool is the best abduction prevention tool a parent will have when dealing with matters of possible abduction abroad.

Remember, now is the time when parents scheming to abduct a child abroad set their plan in motion.  Sadly, many of these schemes will include having the targeted parent travel with the abducting parent to the abducting parent's country of origin. Once there, they will create a terrible scheme that may very well include lies that will cause local law enforcement to detain you. And while you are detained abroad, that abducting parent will seek jurisdiction of the child in the country you all traveled to, citing danger to both their and the child's welfare. This tactic is very common - don't think it can happen to you.

This is what the Secretary General of the Hague Convention said about the I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form:                        

"I have had the possibility to look at the travel form and must say that I am impressed: this is the most comprehensive document of its kind that I have seen so far and there is little doubt in my mind that this is a most valuable and important effort to prevent child abduction. I applaud your efforts and wish to congratulate you and your team . . . It is really impressive to see how quickly your international travel child consent form has started to yield practical results and how well you monitor its operation - this really is remarkable." 
            - Secretary General Mr. Bernasconi of the Hague Convention On International Private Law -

Educate yourself. For more information, please visit the I CARE Foundation's website.

Kind regards to all,

Peter Thomas Senese
 


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Peter Senese and I CARE Foundation Launch Hague Convention Abduction Prevention Tool


Peter Senese & The I CARE Foundation's Hague Convention Oriented International Child Abduction Prevention Tool Provides Family Lawyers New Weapon To Protect Children

Family law attorneys worldwide are calling The I CARE Foundation’s groundbreaking International Travel Child Consent Form as a groundbreaking universal child abduction prevention tool that can be used to protect children at risk of international parental abduction.


New York and Los Angeles
The I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form is being viewed by highly respected international family law attorneys around the world who are deeply familiar with the grave challenges of international parental child abduction prevention and reunification as a significant new tool that may assist them and courts protect against abduction.
Worldwide, international parental child abduction increases substantially during the summer months when children are on summer school break. One of the primary methods behind these abductions under the rules established by the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction occurs when a parent wrongfully detains a child in a foreign country outside of a court order or without consent of the other parent after the ‘taking parent’ is initially granted permission to travel with the child to a foreign country.
In many of these cases the ‘taking parent’ carefully conspires to mislead and defraud the courts and the ‘targeted parent’ of their true intent: to relocate in their country of origin with the child while removing the targeted parent's contact with their child. Detecting abduction schemes is often not easy. In fact, some parents conceal their true intent to abduct by inviting the child's other parent to travel abroad with them in an attempt to avoid suspicion of abduction. However, once in a foreign country (often the conspiring parent's country of origin), the conspiring parent unleashes a horrible scheme intended to remove the other parent’s rights to the child. They often succeed.
The I CARE Foundation’s comprehensive'International Travel Child Consent Form' was created to prevent these types of international parental child abduction schemes by calling for both parties to affirm key components central to the ability for an abductor to mount a false and misleading legal defense while also creating additional affirmations for an expeditious return of a child who has been wrongfully detained.
Steep in Hague-oriented case law with focus on Articles 1, 12, 13 and 20, the I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form was created to remove a parent's legal defenses under Articles 12, 13, and 20 of the Hague Convention who may be scheming to abduct a child prior to an alleged 'family vacation' abroad while also establishing strong support for a child’s immediate return under Article 1 of the Hague Convention.
New York City attorney Barbara Bevando Sobal, considered by many in the legal profession as one of the most knowledgeable international family law practitioners and who represents clients all over the world provided expert insight on the relevance and need of the I CARE Foundation’s landmark tool when she said, “As an attorney for 26 years, working on Hague Convention cases for 23 years, and having recovered, consulted, been involved with and participated in more than 450 Hague Convention cases, the I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form is crucial to Hague Convention Prevention cases. It is not only instructive, and, provides protections that can allay a consenting parents fear of a no-return, but, it is also helpful to Judges in the event that the parties reach an Agreement, consistent with this form, during a contentious travel litigation.”
Silvia A. Sejas Pardo, a highly respected Argentinean and Spanish international lawyer based in Spain and who is a Founding Member of FASIM, an international association of attorneys dedicated to preventing child abduction commented, "We need to continue to treat child abduction and prevention of kidnapping as something extremely exceptional as we are dealing with children's lives. The uncertainty and abuse related to abduction is not in their interest. The I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form is workable and would make child abduction more difficult as this document is a legally strong piece of evidence that may result in protecting many children. I hope all Hague-member states embrace this initiative."
Peter Thomas Senese of the I CARE Foundation and author of the critically acclaimed Chasing The Cyclone and lead creator of the consent form added, "The new abduction prevention tool was created to help provide clarity and directional paths for any court or law enforcement agency overseeing international parental child abduction associated with the wrongful retention of a child abroad. As the new international travel consent form reaches into Central Authorities and courtrooms around the world, and as attorneys dedicated to protecting children implement this tool or one similar to what the I CARE Foundation has created, we hope that there is a dramatic decline in abusive child abductions. We may not have created a new law, but we have created a universal child abduction prevention tool the entire world can use."
Mexico’s Carlos Alvarado, a renowned international family lawyer specializing in international parental child abduction prevention and reunification issues, and who is actively involved in new legislation initiatives in Mexico focused on protecting children of abduction added, "As a law practitioner deeply familiar with Hague Convention law and the great challenges parents and lawyers have protecting children targeted for international abduction, it is critical that new and creative abduction prevention tools are utilized to protect children. The I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form is an important tool that can and should be used to prevent children from being wrongfully detained in a foreign country. We intend to widely implement this new tool to protect children in Mexico and whenever possible, assist parents who have had a child abducted to Mexico who have utilized this agreement. This is a tool all attorneys should use."
Adding further insight, renown Florida family law attorney Denise Gunn, who is a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Hague Convention Attorney Network and who recently prevented the abduction of two minors from Florida to a non-Hague Middle Eastern country in a complex custody dispute added, “New and applicable international child abduction prevention resources such as the I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent form is a critically needed tool to stop the abusive criminal act of parental abduction. Once implemented, the foundation's groundbreaking Hague Convention-oriented travel consent form should protect a large population of at-risk children around the world who are targeted for wrongful retention under the rules of local and international law. The ingenuity and thoughtful creation of this agreement illustrates the expertise and commitment of the I CARE Foundation to protect children."
Linda Hammerschmid is Secretary of the Family Law Association of Quebec and a Family Law practitioner in Montreal Canada with over 30 years’ experience in the field. Ms. Hammerschmid commented, “The creation of the new International Travel Consent form is a MUST have, not only for Government Departments, Family Law Attorneys and divorcing couples, but also for INTACT families, and should be kept at the homes of ALL parents to use whenever one or the other wishes to travel alone with their children. Far too often the traveling parent only informs the other, AFTER departure, of their intention not to return the children.”
The I CARE Foundation is a self-funded non-profit organization dedicated to preventing child abduction.
Jennifer Cluff, one of the world’s foremost parenting blog writers who has stewarded the message of child abduction prevention on her Mom-ology parent site added, “Parents at risk of having a child kidnapped often are not aware of the scheme against them. The I CARE Foundation tool is something all parenting-focused writers need to share with their readers, especially since the majority of our reader-base is the near-identical demographic of targeted parents.”
To download a copy of the 'International Travel Child Consent Form' in English or Spanish please visit the I CARE Foundation's official website. For more information about suggestions on how to implement the form and to obtain the legal analysis used to create this abduction prevention tool, please contact by email: legal@stopchildabduction.org or call 310.882.3967.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Child Abductor of Colorado Boy Taken Into Canada Despite AMBER Alerts Was Heading To Isreal

International parental child abduction is a very dangerous world for children.  Not only are they forced to live a life of a fugitive, but as recently reported by the U.S. Department of Justice, they are in grave risk of being the recipient of extreme violence and even murder at the hands of their kidnapping parent.

Several weeks ago, I shared how the international abduction of the young Colorado child, Luke Turner, to Colorado raised serious concerns because the American child was taken into Canada despite an AMBER Alert being issued. 

  AMBER ALERT FAILS: INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION TAKES PLACE

The fact is each law enforcement organization that issues an AMBER Alert does so within a certain radius.  AMBER Alerts do not automatically get transmitted nationwide or to all border crossing points.

In the case of Luke Turner's abduction, the fact is that the AMBER Alert did not cover the distance the child's father, Mony Ray Turner, had traveled to.

Equally concering is the fact that according to a high-ranking U.S. Government official, Monty Ray Turner appears to have had airline tickets for him and his son to travel from Canada to Isreal.

THERE WAS SEVERAL COUNTRIES INVOLVED IN THE ABDUCTION PLANS

As I previoulsy stated on CBC News in Manitoba prior to this confirmation, it did not make sense that the abductor was going to remain in Canada, but instead, Canada had to be the launching country but not the final destination.  And though there appears to have been tickets to Isreal, there is no certaintity that Isreal was the final destination the abducting parent was going to.

Nevertheless, the young child was about to live a life of a fugitive. 

Often, parents who abduct a child between the United States and Canada, or the United States and Mexico often use the adjoining border country as the point of initial abduction because of the ease to travel between countries with a child.  In many international abduction cases, the abductor then departs with the kidnapped child to another country. 

This happens often.  And it is extremely concering.

As exemplified in the abduction of Canada's Stephen Watkins' children, the abducting mother illegally crossed into the United States using invalid Canadian passports. Then she traveled to Poland with the two abducted children, where she then went underground.  After an extensive search, Mr. Watkins found his children. However, Poland - a member of the Hague Convention in name only - decided that despite Canada demanding the return of the children, despite arrest warrants being issued against the mother, despite a clear-cut violation of many laws and extensive fraud committed by the mother - Poland decided that the children had acclimated to life in Poland and refused to return the Canadian children to their custodial father!  And in case you are wondering - Mr. Watkins was not an abusive man.  Poland just thumbed its resonsibillities to the Hague.

With cases like the Turner child or the Watkins children in mind, courts around the world must be mindful that in many cases of abduction - and this includes the wrongful removal of a child or the wrongful detention of a child abroad - the 'inbound' landing country of abduction often is not the final point a child is going to be taken to.

Often there is a third country.

Many of these countries are either not members of the Hague Convention (think Asia, the Middle East, or Africa), or if they are, they are not in compliance with the convention  (think for example Brazil, Mexico, Germany, and Poland).

Once a child gets into a non-Hague country or a non-complying country, it is near impossible to bring them home.

  SUMMER IS WHEN PARENTS INTERNATIONALLY ABDUCT CHILDREN

As summer takes place many children traveling abroad will be internationally abducted under the Hague Convention because they will not be returned home to their country of original jurisdiciton.

This is international child abduction.

Parents considering to allow a child to travel to another country with their other parent, especially if that parent has strong ties to that country, should strongly consider signing the I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form - regardless if you are happily married or divorced. And if you are divorced and a court granted the other parent to travel abroad with your child, you should really consider requesting the court to have both parties sign the I CARE Foundation travel consent form as it was designed to help protect children from abduction.

I CARE FOUNDATION TRAVEL CONSENT FORM DESIGNED TO STOP INTERNATIONAL PARENTAL CHILDABDUCTION

In other cases of abduction that will occur this summer, an abducting parent will wrongfully remove a child from their home country despite a court order or in secret because they possess dual citzenship and a secondary passport for that child unknown to the other parent.

The bottom line: society must be mindful of every abduction tactic and act to stop international child kidnappings.

As the case of Luke Turner demonstrates, international parental child abduciton can leasd to severe violent acts.  And once a child is taken, it is nearly impossible to bring them home.

Luke Turner is a very fortunate child.  He was located in Canada before the alleged plans to remove him to Isreal and perhaps another country unfolded.

The article below I had written on May 28th, 2013 concerning the abduction of Brandy Turner's three year old son. 

To learn more about international child abduction please visit the I CARE Foundation and the U.S. Department of State.

                                                                        * * * * * * * *

May 28th, 2013

A Longmont, Colorado mother who was assaulted this past Saturday by her separated husband after he broke into her home, where he is alleged to have pepper-sprayed her before using a stun gun on her before he kidnapped their three-year old child to Canada despite an Amber Alert being issued for the abducted child is hopeful that she will be reunited with her son over the coming days.  The child's father was arrested in Manitoba, Canada on Sunday, and thankfully, the child has been reported to be doing okay. 
Brandy Turner Holding Her Son Luke Prior To Abduction
The abduction of Luke Turner and his abducting father, Monty Ray Turner's ability to remove the child out of the United States and enter Canada despite an Amber Alert presents a dire concern international parental child abduction prevention advocates have been voicing for some time: the ease of which children are able to be illegally removed from both the United States' as well as Canada's borders due to existing border control policies and abduction prevention laws.  

As the school summer vacation months approach, it is anticipated that the majority of criminal international parental child abductions will take place. How to prevent these kidnappings is at the core of concern for tens of thousands of abduction prevention stakeholders, including targeted parents of abduction, law enforcement, courts of local jurisdiction, and respective government agencies around the world charged with protecting children.
 
According to the Longmont Daily Times-Call, the defenseless child's mother, Brandy Turner told police she stepped outside her home to smoke a cigarette and saw her husband in the backyard as Luke was having breakfast, Mrs. Turner, who had a restraining order issued against her husband, said she went inside, closed and locked the door, and tried to call 911, but Monty Turner forced his way inside and threw the phone to the floor. During a scuffle, Mr. Turner used pepper spray, shooting it into her face before she felt an electric shock, which she believes to be from a stun gun, she told the newspaper.
 
After snatching the child, Mr. Turner drove 1,500 kilometers east, leaving Colorado and entering Canada at some point while driving across the northern plains shared between the United States and Canada.
 
The brutality of the assault and abduction is indicative of sociopathic behavior exhibited by many parental child abductors. 
 
Brandy Turner told The Associated Press on Monday that she had spoken with Luke on the phone and he knows he’s coming home. She said she couldn’t travel to Canada to get him because she has no passport. The child is presently under the supervision of Canada's Child and Family Services. 
 
Failure Of The Amber Alert

The Canadian Border Services Agency is presently investigating how the child was able to enter Canada despite an Amber Alert issuance. 
 
How Monty Ray Turner Entered Canada Despite An
Amber Alert Is Unknown At This Time
Immediate concerns on how Mr. Turner was able to leave the United States and enter Canada include that somehow someone at the Canadian border dropped the ball, and did not carefully check for any Amber Alerts on the child and father. In addition, there is a possibility that Mr. Turner bypassed a border crossing all together and entered Canada by taking back roads that connect the two countries.
 
Immediate questions as to why Mr. Turner fled to Canada are troubling. 

In the world of international parental child abduction, an abductor may initially enter into an adjacent country that shares a border with the child's country of habitual residency due to ease of departure, only to use the first landing country as a launching point to disappear with the child to another country and into a sea of seven billion faces. It is presently unknown if Mr. Turner was intending to leave Canada for another country. Nevertheless, one thing appears clear: the abductor seemingly knew where he was going, which means he may have previously canvassed an exit route out of the United States traveling along the remote northern plains that have limited border security.

In a previously well-publicized international parental child abduction case that remains active, Mr. Stephen Watkins of Canada had his two young sons illegally removed from Canada to the United States by his former wife Edyta ( Ustaszewski / Ustaszewska ) with the assistance of the abductor's father, Tadeusz Ustaszewski. Once in the United States,  Edyta Watkins disappeared, and was able to enter Poland. Despite Poland being a signatory of the Hague Convention of the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, and arrest warrants for kidnapping issued against her, Edyta Watkins has remained at-large, and Mr. Watkins children have not been returned home.  Mr. Watkins children traveled into the United States without valid passports.

Targeted parents around the world who have their children abducted often do not reunite with their children.  Rarely, are abducting parents prosecuted, as courts often fail to hold accountable an abductor for their act of kidnapping, often wrongfully citing 'best interest of the child'. 

However, recently, parental child abductors are starting to be held accountable, which may be one of the reasons why the reported cases of outbound international parental child abduction originating from the United States has declined by 15% over the each of the last two fiscal years (2011 and 2012) after nearly 30 years of continued growth. It should be noted with great exception that Canada has failed to publicly report the number of Canadian children abducted from Canada since 2008. 

Monty Ray Turner and Luke Turner
Monty Ray Turner was arrested Sunday afternoon without incident at the Casablanca Motor Inn in Brandon after law enforcement authorities were able to quickly locate him after he used a credit card to check into the hotel. If he did not use the credit card, it would have been more difficult to locate him and the child. 
 
The boy’s grandfather, Ronald Turner, 72, was pulled over in Missouri on Sunday on a warrant for second-degree kidnapping. He was driving a vehicle with a licence plate number listed on an Amber Alert that had been issued after Luke was taken.







A Looming Cloud

As prosecutors in the state of Colorado are working to take custody of Monty Ray Turner, 51, who was being held on numerous charges, including kidnapping, a looming cloud covers Canada, the United States, Mexico, and island-nations located in the Caribbean due to existing international travel document requirements for minors under 16 years old need to cross a border that were established under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). Specifically, a child traveling by land or by sea across adjacent borders who is under 16 years of age does not need to present a passport at the time of deparute. Instead, all that is required is a photocopy of the child's naturalization papers, such as a photo copy of a birth certificate. 

Peter Thomas Senese's Critically
Acclaimed Novel On International
Parental Child Abduction
CHASING THE CYCLONE
The presentation of fraudulent documents at border points has long existed and is well illustrated in the publication of Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) Land and Sea Final Rule" that was released March 27, 2008 by the Department of Homeland Security. It was reported that CBP officers had intercepted over 129,000 fraudulent documents since January 2005 from individuals trying to cross the border over an approximate 3 ½ year period. This is a substantial number; however, we must ask ourselves how many fraudulent documents were never uncovered and successfully used, and how has this impacted international parental child abduction and human trafficking.

It should be of great concern that the ability to falsify travel documentation for children is appears to be relatively easy. The capability to easily present travel documentation without another parent's consent or to falsify travel documents for children in cases where a passport is not required appears relatively easy. The fact that simply a birth certificate or worse, a “copy” of a birth certificate and a letter of permission with no documentation to verify its validity, is sufficient to cross international borders is a serious security concern. And although it is is required that a parent or guardian traveling with the child without the other parent possess a letter of consent from the absent parent(s) we must strongly consider that there is no way to verify the validity of a parental consent letter.

Under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the WHTI was designed to strengthen border security and is a joint Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) plan that is carried out in part by the U.S. Customs Border Protection Agency (CBP). The intent of the initiative is to further protect and strengthen our nation’s borders by requiring all travelers to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda to present a WHTI compliant document that establishes identity and citizenship.


So where do we go from here?


Clearly, the summer seaon is upon us, and with the school summer break now here, this is a time of year when thousands of children living in North America will become crime victims of abduction. 


As the Turner case unfolds, we must not only ask ourselves how did Mr. Turner exit the United States despite an Amber Watch, but how did he do this.  Furthermore, as the Watkins case resoundly demonstrated, not only should there be a mandatory requirement for all individuals regardless of age and type of travel (land, sea, or air) to present a valid passport at the time of departure.  Note how I said 'Valid Passport'? 


Clearly, children like Luke Turner and every other child deserve to be safe from kidnapping. 



                                       The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative 
                                    And International Parental Child Abduction 
 

How Are Children Internationally Abducted By Their Parent



Which leads us to the question, "How Are Children Illegally Abducted Into And Out Of The United States or Canada?"

Security flaws that can lead to our children becoming victimized include, but are not limited to the following:

1.     Failures by courts and judges to properly assess abduction risk and attach court orders that would preempt international child stealing; and,

2.     Failure to create or uphold present child abduction prevention laws or other laws created to protect our children’s safety; and,

3.     Identity and travel documentation fraud; and,

4.     A lack of uniform requirements for travel documentation when departing or entering the U.S.; and,

5.     The ability under present law to easily illegally transport children under age 16 across borders during land and sea travel; and,

6.     Human error during verification of travel documents by CBP at a point-of-entry or departure; and,

7.     Failures by law enforcement to act expeditiously to a potential abduction threat; and,

8.     Inefficient communication and data sharing between government agencies responsible to assist in preventing or resolving an international child abduction case; and,

9.     The deficiency by our federal government to create and interlink a children's travel alert, travel restriction data base consisting of real-time family court decisions at the state level with all U.S. border control agencies and transport companies similar to capabilities available through the Prevent Departure Program; and,

The I CARE Foundation
10. A lack of or outdated or underutilized state or federal laws and programs that fail to prevent the abduction of a child and in fact may enable an abduction to occur.

For more information about international parental child abduction please visit The I CARE Foundation or Chasing The Cyclone.  

For more information about international parental child abduction in Canada, please visit I CHAPEAU

 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Children of Parental Abduction Are Prisoners

Not to long ato, I was watching Good Morning America and their segment on the the dramatic rescue of the three young women enslaved in Cleveland, Ohio when the show's Dr. Wagner used teh word "compliance" while discussing the reason of why hostages may not be able during their inprisonment speak-up and free themselves.

Compliance.

It hit me like a ton of bricks falling off a ten-story building.

You see, in the the world of international parental child abduction, and in this world's post-abduction reunification when both the targeted parent and the abductor may by court-order need to exist in the world of the victimized child, courts often do not realize that when they allow the kidnapper to remain bonded with the child-victim, not only does this create a sense of uncertainty for the child, but it wrongfully sends a message to the child that there was validity to their kidnapping.

Now it is imperative to remember that during the time of a child's international abduction, these children are in fact hostages. They are manipulated. They are brainwashed. They are taught to fear. And in the kidnapper's need to have that child sanction their kidnapping, kidnappers teach that failure to comply will be met with grave consequences.

Sadly, during many post-abduction reunifications, the abductor's intent to cause pain and suffering to the target parent continues via manipulation of a child.

Since the child cannot break free from the bindings of their kidnapper despite the efforts of the targeted parent, many of these children still live in fear, and are forced to live in spiritually and mentally bound ways.

They are still prisoners.

They must comply with the ever-present abductor's will.

And this must end.








Summer and International Child Custody Disputes: High Risk Of Abduction




Hi, I’m Peter Senese, the Founding Director of the I CARE Foundation and as the summer school vacation period approaches, I would like to share with you the assortment of warning signs and risk factors associated international parental child abduction that targets thousands upon thousands of unsuspecting parents and defenseless children each year primarily who are a product of a multi-national relationship or marriage that is or has ended. In sharing some key warning signs today, it is my hope that children will be protected from kidnapping and overwhelming abuse.

Now if you’re like hundreds of thousands of parents around the world the term international parental child abduction may be one you are not familiar with. . . . . . until a child you know is kidnapped and illegally detained in a foreign country by the child’s other parent.

Before I go any further, let me say this: the vast majority of children abducted abroad never come home. Tragically, some can’t – they are gone forever.

According to United States Federal Law, the illegal removal of a child from the country without consent of a court or the child’s other parent is a criminal act of kidnapping. The conspiracy that leads up to the child snatching is generally filled with a host of illegal activities, including false allegations toward the targeted parent of abuse toward the child or other parent. This is something I will touch upon later. However, one thing more than anything else should be clear: parental child abduction is not just an act of kidnapping against an innocent child, but inherently, an abducted child becomes a prisoner of the kidnapper forced to follow and obey the predators instruction under the deplorable acts of parental alienation that the kidnapper deploys as they need to rationalize their behavior toward the child-victim.

Generally, the vast majority of abductions are well-planned and are orchestrated so that the other parent is off-guard when the abduction occurs. Blindsided by the act of international parental child abduction – that tragically is treated very differently than a stranger abduction by law enforcement despite the act being a federal crime of kidnapping - parents who attempt to reunite with their child often enter a dark and dangerous world that will change their world forever.

But what are we fighting for?

Lives.

We’re fighting for a child’s life.

Filicide – a term you may not know - is the act of child murder by a parent. In the United States, hundreds of children are murdered by their parents each year. This is not a phenomenon – parental child murder is a reality that knows no borders.

In cases of parental child abduction the kidnapper uses the child as a pawn to cause hurt and suffering toward the other parent. Denying that parent access to the child is a common theme and often the reason why abduction occurs.

The fear is – the reality is – that many abductors exhibiting sociopath behavior often believe that if they can’t have sole custody of a child – nobody will. Additionally, there appears to be a strong correlation of adult suicides connected to child abduction victims.

None of its easy to discuss yet we’re all only three degrees of separation from knowing someone who may be a target of abduction.

In the course of events leading up to the actual abduction or attempted abduction there are clear warning signs that may allow a parent to protect themselves and their children. And with the summer months upon us – the time of year when most child kidnappings take place – I hope that some insight I will share may be of use to you.

On behalf of my colleagues at the I CARE Foundation, one thing is certain: raising awareness and stewarding the message about the warning signs of international parental child abduction has played a role in reducing the number of reported outbound child kidnapping cases originating in the United States by 15% during the last two consecutive years after nearly 30 years of continued growth.

Make no mistake; the reality is that tens of thousands of children living in cities and on farms across our nation are targeted for kidnapping each year. It is carefully estimated that only 10% of these children will ever come home when we consider the ‘reported’ and ‘unreported’ cases of abduction.

Do you really want to play those odds?

Now before I get into a list of warning signs of international abduction you may ask yourself why is international parental child abduction affecting tens of thousands of families?

The answer is complex, but in general terms, we are seeing a substantial increase in multi-national relationships, which personally I think is great; however, with the notion of ‘global citizenship’ comes some challenges.

You see, as our world becomes a closer, more connected society, individuals from different nations develop relationships with one another, some leading to the birth of a child. Unfortunately, some of these relationships end, and when they do, the foreign-born national parent often desires to return to their home country – and when they do – they usually have a desire to take the child with them.

Except they have one problem: the other parent does not want their child to live abroad after being born and raised in their home country.

Knowing that the likelihood of a court granting them permission to live abroad with their child more than likely will not occur, the parent seeking to relocate to a foreign country often creates a clever, well thought-out plan to either abduct the child from the child’s country of original jurisdiction, or, they will create a deceitful scheme that will enable them to legally remove the child from the country they live in – such as plans to travel on a family vacation with intentions of permanent removal.

Once they are abroad, the scheming parent will often lay a host of criminal charges against the other parent, including domestic physical and mental abuse, threats of murder, and outlandish acts of child abuse and neglect – all for one purpose: to sever the other parent’s relationship with the child and to gain legal actions to the foreign courts they are now physically located in by having the targeted parent arrested and prevented from seeing either them or the child.

Now what most individuals do not realize is that once that child steps foot on foreign soil, that child’s temporary welfare becomes the responsibility of the rules of law and courts of the country they are located in.

Which means this: the police and courts must follow the procedures established under their law: the targeted parent more than likely will be arrested, issued restraining orders against them, and have their access to their child denied until an investigation is done. In the meanwhile, the scheming taking parent files a host of legal motions in the country that will further restrain the targeted parent.

Welcome to a scheming kidnappers idea of a vacation.

Sometimes - and I have seen this happen many times – but a kidnapper will say that the other parent actually consented to have the child relocate . . . so that they can litigate ‘what’s in the child’s best interest’ abroad – in their country of origin – and at a tremendous disadvantage to the child’s other parent.

I want to make this very clear: the scheme of a parental child abductor does not discriminate by gender. Men and women generally abduct equally and often cite abuse and mistreatment as the reason why they abducted. They make the claim that they are not abductors but liberators fleeing abuse. The majority of these claims are false. They are lies created to defend against Federal kidnapping charges. They are lies created in hope a court would sanction the abduction under Article 13 of the Hague Convention – a rule that allows an abductor the ability to relocate if they can prove it is not in the child’s best interest to return to their home country. These lies are intended to cruelly cause the targeted parent suffering, including arrest in hope to make any litigation they may bring to reunite with their child difficult or impossible.

So if you think that since you may have a U.S. custody order, and that THAT order will allow you to simply go and bring your child home, you should know this: that once your child is in a foreign country, the pragmatic reality of the custody order you are in possession of may mean very little, especially if the abductor has made a criminal complaint against you and/or filed a civil action for custody. Usually, they happen at the same time.

And so here’s your reality: should you attempt to remove your child and take them home with you, you may be violating laws in the country you and your child are located in and you may be arrested . . . . Your custody order is at least temporarily, useless. Welcome to the world of parental child abduction.

But like Dante’ descending into the Inferno, your nightmare as a targeted chasing parent has only just begun. For example, as an American citizen, do you know that even though the abduction was a criminal act toward you and your child, you are responsible for 100% of all costs associated with finding, monitoring, and litigating your case, including the costs to bring your child home unless you become dead-broke – which often occurs for many targeted parents because the cost to reunite with a child often costs parents hundreds of thousands of dollars. So if you don’t have a large amount of money available, chances are you’re not going to bring your child home. But that’s not it: you still have to deal with the false charges and claims, and litigate abroad. If you don’t think foreign courts have prejudice, you are sadly mistaken.

And if you think you’ll simply be able to get an arrest warrant issued and seek extradition proceedings against the kidnapping parent, you’re in line for some serious disappointment because numerous countries that the United States has extradition agreements with do not have agreements in place regarding parental abduction. In fact, in certain countries, this is not even a crime!

Do you get the sense of hopelessness? If you do – welcome to the world of many chasing parents.

Add to it that while your child is gone, he or she is taught by the abductor to think you are a bad mother or father out to hurt them and their taking parent. Yes, parental alienation and parental isolation are alive and well – and in its abuse, it destroys the innocence and very fabric of your child.

So as the summer approaches, this is the time of year when parents need to be aware of the warning signs of parental child abduction.

I have often heard from parents who tragically stuck their head in the sand and didn’t pay attention to the warning signs that ‘Their partner was not that clever’, to find out just how cunning and deceitful they really were only after their child or children were gone.

The key to stopping child abduction is to prevent it from happening.

The MOST IMPORTANT WARNING sign of abduction is to understand the present relationship you have with the child's other parent and ask yourself 'May that parent have the intent, desire, ability, and means to take your child to another country without your permission, or possible intent to keep your child in a foreign country should you grant permission for your child to travel abroad with you, the other parent, or both of you?

Abduction often occurs as a prelude to parents separating or beginning divorce proceedings, though there are a significant number of abductions that occur post-divorce commencement litigation. In many cases, the abduction is a planned scheme, which means that generally, the parent intending to abduct a child will try to create an atmosphere that is opposite of their intent: meaning that they will try lull the other parent to thinking that they are committed to the relationship, when in fact they are not. This is a critical issue because it is easier to abduct a child when the targeted parent is not seeking to prevent abduction. So having the targeted parent think that there is a loving, committed relationship is critical for the abductor.

So - if you have been in a difficult, strained relationship with a person who has deep ties to a foreign country, and suddenly that person is demonstrating a new-found love or new-found commitment . . . and they eventually pose the idea of traveling abroad with the child so the child could visit that person's family, THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS WARNING SIGN that abduction may be planned.

Remember, even if you are invited to travel with the other parent and child, this does not mean you or your child are safe. I know many parents who traveled abroad with the other parent and child who were in possession of custody orders - only to have false claims of abuse, neglect, or acts of violence made against them within days of touching down in the foreign country. Once that happens, the legal nightmare begins - despite possessing joint custody, there is very little that the targeted parent can do to remove the child from the inbound country because the abducting parent usually has filed legal documents seeking court relief to remain abroad - typically in their country of origin.

So here we are - the school summer vacation season is upon us. Parents need to ask themselves this question: Has my relationship with my child's other parent been strained, and all of a sudden there is a new-found love or commitment by that parent - and is there a trip abroad being suggested or planned? Because if so - you should be very concerned.

As touched upon earlier, if you believe the other parent may remove or retain the child abroad in order to gain an advantage in expected or pending child-custody proceedings by seeking the jurisdiction of the courts located in their country of origin, you should be very concerned.

For example, if a child is taken to a nation in the Middle East, there is a high probability that that nation will allow the abductor to keep the child abroad since the legal environment or cultural traditions may provide the abductor the safe harbor they seek.

In fact, there are many nations who simply do not return internationally kidnapped children, and this includes the majority of countries found in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, who outrageously, are not signatory members of international treaties on abduction. And before I let you think that having a child abducted to European or South American countries is any better you better think again. For example, I have a good friend who is a highly decorated police officer in New York who had his daughter abducted to Germany. For nearly 4 years this loving, honest, compassionate father has fought to reunite with his child. Yet she remains in Germany and he is as close as bringing her home today as he was when the kidnapping first occurred.

Unfortunately, there are countries, particularly in the Middle East, that have cultural environments that make it very difficult for a woman to recover their child. Cultural norms in Asia make it equally difficult for a man to recover their child. But child recovery and reunification is rare. In fact, there are many cases when the international courts order for a child to be returned to their country of original jurisdiction, and the kidnapping parent does not follow the court orders and does so without fear of retribution or arrest . . . . its a common theme.

Now back to the WARNING SIGNS - If the other parent threatens you that they will take your child abroad and you will never see them, don't take this threat as a non-event. Many abductors who have successfully kept a child abroad did in fact make at least one threat that they were returning to their own country of origin.

Another WARNING SIGN is if the other parent presses you to sign a passport application for your child to obtain a passport from their country of their origin. Remember - your child has a right to dual citizenship if their other parent is a foreign born national.

BEWARE that many nations do not require a second parent's signature in order to obtain travel documents for a dual national child. . . for example France - so you very well may not know if the other parent has a secondary passport issued from another country. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT because even though the U.S. courts may obtain or even cancel your child's American passports, they have no control on passports issued by another country. The fact is that even though a U.S. court order may restrict international travel for the child - passports issued by a foreign country are accepted without question at points of departure from the U.S. "

So if abduction is going to occur - there is a high probability that foreign issued passports will be used to leave the United States.

NEEDLESS TO SAY, if you discover a foreign passport for your child issued from another country that you were not aware of, you have a serious problem on your hand.

Often the scheming parent will use a sudden illness of a family member abroad as a scheme to play on the targeted parent's heart, often seeking to have their child, 'See their grandmother or grandfather before they pass away.' I can't even begin to tell you how many scenarios like that I am aware of - when the targeted parent who let their child travel with the other parent - soon finds out that there was no family emergency, but instead - an abduction scheme.

A CRITICAL WARNING SIGN is if you soon realize that the other parent is sending large sums of money or other personal belongings abroad - or if they are removing all financial ties to the country they presently live in . . . such as selling their home, quitting their job, selling their car. You get the idea.

There is one other VERY IMPORTANT WARNING SIGN that I would like to touch upon here: if there is a false police complaint and incident report filed by your child's other parent against you, there is a likelihood that they are establishing a case against you based upon domestic violence and abuse which will be very beneficial to them in court should they abduct your child.

Disgracefully, both men and women abductors are known to make false claims of abuse toward the other parent when planning to abduct . . . if you think it can’t happen to you – you better think again.

With false police complaints in mind, there is something every parent should be aware of: generally, a parent seeking to abduct a child will often make a false police report against the other parent on Thursday afternoons thru Friday afternoon in hope to have their targeted parent arrested and detained by law enforcement over the weekend so that while the child's other parent is in jail, they have an unimpeded path to depart the country.

When the abductor arrives in the inbound country where they had schemed to abduct the child to - they have established a paper trail of domestic abuse or violence reports that may provide the court in the foreign country with all the evidence they need to allow the abductor the right to keep the child there, thus becoming a 'liberator' as opposed to an 'abductor' because they created the false appearance that they had to run to protect their lives.

Remember, children under 16 years of age living in the United States, Canada, or Mexico are not required to present a valid passport when traveling within North America so long as they travel by land or sea under policies established by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative . . . . which means that a closed circuit cruise ship that starts and ends in the same port, but that may travel to foreign ports, is in fact a vehicle for abductors to use.

Hopefully the I CARE Foundation's efforts will cause our government to modify this policy and mandate that children traveling abroad, regardless of age must present a valid passport.

The Truth is that there are a substantial amount of warning signs of abduction, and parents need to pay attention to them TODAY.

Should you believe that your child is at risk of abduction, please contact a qualified attorney who has true experience litigating international child abduction prevention cases.

If child abduction is in process, please contact law enforcement immediately as well as a qualified attorney familiar with abduction. You should also immediately contact the United States Department of State's OFFICE OF CHILDREN'S ISSUES.

As the summer approaches, the reality is that thousands of children will be targeted for abduction. It is anticipated that several thousand children will be kidnapped abroad when combining reported and unreported cases of abduction.

Of these children taken, only a small number will ever return home . . . ever see their targeted parent again . . . ever return to the community they were raised in . . . ever see their family now left behind.

In the process, their identity will be stolen . . . who they are will be denied . . . they will learn to know hatred because that is what an abductor will preach to them in order to have that child hate their left behind parent . . . and they will live a life as a fugitive.

Most of all they will become prisoners illegally detained by a vengeful abductor who is using that child to cause harm and destruction to the other parent.

Tragically, these children will lose their innocence. As I said earlier, many will never come home . . . some simply will never have the opportunity to . . . . they can't.

For more information I urge you to visit the I CARE Foundation's website. You may also visit the official website for Chasing The Cyclone, which is the website of my deeply inspired novel about international child abduction that contains an extensive amount of resources. And of course, you should visit the United States Department Of States Official Website, particularly if abduction is in progress.

Protect yourself and your child. Educate yourself.

Click here to read how to stop international parental child abduction when a child may be issued two dual passports.