Monday, November 29, 2010
Peter Senese and Carolyn Ann Vlk’s New Study Points To How U.S. Children Are Illegally Abducted Overseas: Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Policy
BREAKING NEWS: November 29th, 2010
CLICK HERE TO READ REPORT
A landmark study conducted by child abduction prevention advocates Carolyn Ann Vlk and Peter Thomas Senese released earlier today reveals astonishing loopholes in Western Hemisphere travel documentation requirements for children that inadvertently have created substantial opportunities for international child abductors and human traffickers who target thousands of U.S. children each year for cross-border abduction.
The report is titled “International Child Abduction and Human Trafficking In Western Hemisphere: International parental child abduction and human trafficking prevention report in correspondence to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) and other related abduction prevention challenges faced by The United States and its neighboring countries.”
The extensive study focuses in part on the limited ground and sea travel documentation requirements needed for children traveling to contiguous nations as defined by the WHTI, including to the two nations that represent the highest concentration of abduction cases to and from the United States: Mexico and Canada.
According to the 2010 Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspect of International Child Abduction prepared by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues, there were 1,621 ‘reported’ international parental child abductions originating from the U.S. during 2009. The average growth rate over the past several years is approximately 20% per year.
Additionally, the number of ‘unreported’ cases of international child abduction to contiguous nations is believed to be substantial and is discussed in Crisis in America: International Parental Child Abduction Today (2010) published by Peter Senese and Carolyn Vlk earlier this Fall. Supporting the concern of the existence of significant ‘unreported’ cases is the most recent National Incidence Study of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Thrownaway Children (NISMART-2) study, which reports that of the 203,900 children that are estimated to be parentally abducted annually in the U.S., that only 28% (56,500) of these abductions were reported to law enforcement.
The report has two main objectives: the first goal is to raise awareness of the loopholes traffickers and child abductors may utilize to facilitate their criminal acts of child-stealing so that targeted parents of child abduction, the judiciary and its court officers, law enforcement officials, and policymakers may act to protect children from this hideous type of crime. The second objective is to offer potential solutions through preventative measures and legislative changes that may assist in preventing child abduction and human trafficking as it is uniquely related to current WHTI policy.
Peter Thomas, the author of the highly praised novel ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ critics have called a ‘Call-To-Arms’ against child-stealing that was inspired by his experience as a father who successfully petitioned the international Hague courts due to the illegal abduction and retention of his child stated, “The information furnished in our report provides substantial insight on how each year thousands of targeted children of international abduction living in the Western Hemisphere, including a considerable number of defenseless U.S. children-citizens, may be criminally transported across international borders. The loopholes in current government policy that may allow abductors to steal children across international borders are severe. In releasing this comprehensive study and by offering measurable solutions, it is Carolyn Vlk’s and my aspiration to raise awareness so that existing policy may be changed in the name of our children’s best interest.”
Carolyn Ann Vlk added, “International child abduction and human trafficking are urgently critical issues that necessitate an immediate response. As children do not have the ability to protect themselves, we must continue to identify risk factors and loopholes that lead to them becoming victimized. The current situation is intolerable and the sheer numbers of children that are disappearing is unacceptable. These are horrendous crimes which mandate our highest priority and that necessitate legislative changes to take place immediately at the federal level. A mandate requiring a passport for all international travel will create the type of change necessary to further protect the innocent ones from this unconscionable crime.”
For more information and to read International Child Abduction and Human Trafficking In Western Hemisphere please visit the following websites: