Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S.Con.Res. 98 (rs) Urging compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. [Reported in Senate] ...

S.Con.Res. 98 (rs) Urging compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. [Reported in Senate] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
S. CON. RES. 98

  Urging compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of 
                     International Child Abduction.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             March 23, 2000

   Mr. DeWine (for himself, Mr. Helms, Mr. Thurmond, Mr. Warner, Mr. 
 Rockefeller, Mr. Robb, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Dodd, Ms. Landrieu, Mr. Hatch, 
 and Mr. Stevens) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which 
           was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION


 
  Urging compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of 
                     International Child Abduction.

Whereas the Department of State reports that at any given time there are 1,000 
        open cases of American children either abducted from the United States 
        or wrongfully retained in a foreign country;
Whereas many more cases of international child abductions are not reported to 
        the Department of State;
Whereas the situation has worsened since 1993, when Congress estimated the 
        number of abducted and wrongfully retained American children to be more 
        than 10,000;
Whereas Congress has recognized the gravity of international child abduction in 
        enacting the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act of 1993 (18 
        U.S.C. 1204), the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (28 U.S.C. 1738a), 
        and substantial reform and reporting requirements for the Department of 
        State in the fiscal years 1998-1999 and 2000-2001 Foreign Relations 
        Authorization Acts;
Whereas the United States became a contracting party in 1988 to the Hague 
        Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (in 
        this concurrent resolution referred to as the ``Hague Convention'') and 
        adopted effective implementing legislation in the International Child 
        Abduction Remedies Act (42 U.S.C. 11601 et seq.);
Whereas the Hague Convention establishes reciprocal rights and duties between 
        and among its contracting states to expedite the return of children to 
        the state of their habitual residence, as well as to ensure that rights 
        of custody and of access under the laws of one contracting state are 
        effectively respected in other contracting states, without consideration 
        of the merits of any underlying child custody dispute;
Whereas article 13 of the Hague Convention provides a narrow exception to the 
        requirement for prompt return of children, which exception releases the 
        requested state from its obligation to return a child to the country of 
        the child's habitual residence if it is established that there is a 
        ``grave risk'' that the return would expose the child to ``physical or 
        psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable 
        situation'' or ``if the child objects to being returned and has attained 
        an age and degree of maturity at which it is appropriate to take account 
        of the child's views'';
Whereas some contracting states, for example Germany, routinely invoke article 
        13 as a justification for nonreturn, rather than resorting to it in a 
        small number of wholly exceptional cases;
Whereas the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the only 
        institution of its kind, was established in the United States for the 
        purpose of assisting parents in recovering their missing children;
Whereas article 21 of the Hague Convention provides that the central authorities 
        of all parties to the Convention are obligated to cooperate with each 
        other in order to promote the peaceful enjoyment of parental access 
        rights and the fulfillment of any conditions to which the exercise of 
        such rights may be subject, and to remove, as far as possible, all 
        obstacles to the exercise of such rights;
Whereas some contracting states fail to order or enforce normal visitation 
        rights for parents of abducted or wrongfully retained children who have 
        not been returned under the terms of the Hague Convention; and
Whereas the routine invocation of the article 13 exception, denial of parental 
        visitation of children, and the failure by several contracting parties, 
        most notably Austria, Germany, Honduras, Mexico, and Sweden, to fully 
        implement the Convention deprives the Hague Convention of the spirit of 
        mutual confidence upon which its success depends: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), 
That Congress urges--
            (1) all contracting parties to the Hague Convention, 
        particularly European civil law countries that consistently 
        violate the Hague Convention such as Austria, Germany and 
        Sweden, to comply fully with both the letter and spirit of 
        their international legal obligations under the Convention;
            (2) all contracting parties to the Hague Convention to 
        ensure their compliance with the Hague Convention by enacting 
        effective implementing legislation and educating their judicial 
        and law enforcement authorities;
            (3) all contracting parties to the Hague Convention to 
        honor their commitments and return abducted or wrongfully 
        retained children to their place of habitual residence without 
        reaching the merits of any underlying custody dispute and 
        ensure parental access rights by removing obstacles to the 
        exercise of such rights;
            (4) the Secretary of State to disseminate to all Federal 
        and State courts the Department of State's annual report to 
        Congress on Hague Convention compliance and related matters; 
        and
            (5) each contracting party to the Hague Convention to 
        further educate its central authority and local law enforcement 
        authorities regarding the Hague Convention, the severity of the 
        problem of international child abduction, and the need for 
        immediate action when a parent of an abducted child seeks their 
        assistance.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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