Travel restrictions should “put a stop to” child abduction during acrimonious divorces

Soon Judges will be able to impose travel restrictions on children whose parents are involved in an acrimonious divorces. This is to prevent the children being taken abroad without permission.    

The number of so-called "parental kidnappings” is on the rise. Last year the organisation for missing and abused children Child Focus dealt with 386 such cases. Just ahead of the school summer vacation the Flemish Christian democrat Federal MP Veli Yüksel has drafted a bill that will be voted on in the Home Affairs Select Committee on Wednesday. Mr Yüksel believes that the measures that will be voted on tomorrow will bring to an end the issue of parents kidnapping their own kids.  

"These are often child abductions that come about due to a messy divorce. We could go to the Family Court and in if there were serious fears that a child might be abducted travel restrictions could be imposed on the minor”, Mr Yüksel told VRT News.   

“If the Judges decides to do this the relevant departments at the Interior and Foreign Ministries will be told to either annul of refuse to issue travel documents for the child”.  

Child Focus has expressed satisfaction at the measures proposed by Mr Yüksel.

"It is ok that a parent takes their children on holiday. Child abduction begins if the holiday doesn’t stop. These proposal could really prevent child abduction”.

The issue of difficult to resolve abduction cases whereby children are taken to countries outside the EU could be addressed.

However, a large portion of such cases are parental abductions to other EU countries.

However in these cases “A Kids-ID is needed and it is difficult to set up home somewhere without the correct documentation”.

Child Focus launches campaign against parental abductions

Child Focus has launched a new campaign aimed at tackling the issue of child abductions. It has produced a form that divorced parents can sign. Hilde Demarré of Child Focus told VRT News that “The form is very simple and aims to allow parents to make clear commitments when it comes to holidays. It is ok that children can go on holiday with one of the parents, but it is clearly indicated on the form when the parent should return with their children”.