Number of British children abducted overseas increases

The number of British children abducted by a parent and taken overseas has risen in the past year, Government figures have revealed.

Abductions to countries that have not signed up to the 1980 Hague Convention on international child abduction increased by 39%.

Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne said: “International parental child abduction, whether intentional or not, can cause huge distress to families.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) child abduction section handled 146 cases of children taken to countries not covered by the treaty, compared with 105 the previous year.

Most of these were in Pakistan, India, Thailand, Ghana and Nigeria, which have not ratified the convention.

According to the FCO, the largest number of abductions are in summer when a parent takes a child on holiday, often to a country where they have relatives, and then refuses to bring them home.

Mr Browne said: “If a parent wishes to take their child to live in a new country, they will normally need either the permission of the other parent or British courts.”

He said cases where British nationals return to the UK with their child following the breakdown of a relationship while the family is living abroad are also likely to be treated as abduction.

Source: Press Association

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