Menendez, Corker Introduce International Child Abduction Prevention And Return Act

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Senator Bob Corker introduced the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act to better address the growing problem of international parental child abduction. 

“It was New Jersey native David Goldman’s extraordinary five-year battle to bring his son, Sean, home from Brazil that highlighted for me the horrendous problem of international parental child abduction,” said Senator Menendez.  “As a parent, I cannot imagine the emotional toll of having a child abducted and taken abroad and feeling helpless to get your son or daughter back.  Passing this legislation will go a long way towards assisting parents in bringing abducted children home where they legally and rightfully belong while bolstering prevention options so that children are less likely to be abducted in the first place.”

“Nothing could be more traumatic for a parent than having a child taken from them to another country never to return," said Senator Corker. "Our legislation begins to address this problem on two fronts: first, by seeking to prevent abductions through better coordination at all levels of law enforcement, and second by helping to ensure the State Department uses all appropriate tools to secure the safe return of children who have been torn apart from a parent.”

The senators’ bill strengthens, streamlines, and adds important prevention measures to H.R. 3212, which the House passed in December 2013.  It bolsters U.S. policy regarding international parental child abduction and access cases in both Hague Abduction Convention and non-Convention countries. The bill addresses the diverse needs of left-behind parents and families by bringing greater transparency to the process and making additional resources available to assist them. The legislation also requires the U.S. government to establish a specific program to prevent abductions before they occur.

The Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act include the following components:

·         Requires the State Department to produce a comprehensive annual report on international parental child abductions that is transparent, detailed, and takes into account the difficulties experienced by U.S. military families;

·         Requires U.S. diplomatic and consular missions to monitor abduction and access cases, and to designate at least one senior official at each mission to assist left-behind parents with quickly resolving cases and maintaining safe and predictable contact with their child;

·         Outlines procedures for the State Department to follow in entering into bilateral arrangements, including Memoranda of Understandings, with countries that are unlikely to join the Hague Abduction Convention, with prioritization given to those countries with a significant number of abduction and access cases;

·         Sets out a procedure to determine whether the government of a country has engaged in a pattern of noncompliance with regards to child abduction cases, and provides a prescribed set of actions for the State Department to undertake in the case of such a determination;

·         Strengthens prevention mechanisms, increases interagency coordination, and improves law enforcement capabilities to prevent wrongful abduction before it occurs; 

·         Authorizes $5 million for each of fiscal years (FY) 2015 and 2016, so that countries with either a pattern of noncompliance or a significant number of pending unresolved abduction cases can receive critical judicial training on how to handle parental abduction cases.

On Feb. 27, Sens. Menendez and Corker chaired a hearing on international parental childhood abduction.



Copies Of Remaining Chattanooga Photo Books Available At Zarzour's Restaurant; By Mail

Remaining copies of the Chattanooga Photo books are available at Zarzours Restaurant on Rossville Avenue off Main Street. It is near Fire Hall #1. They include the Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga, and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga.  All were published by Chattanoogan.com.  and printed by College Press at Collegedale. The ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Man Digs Up Old Gun In His Yard On Wheeler Avenue

A Wheeler Avenue resident told police that he was doing yard work and discovered a handgun buried in his yard. He said the firearm did not belong to him. Police could determine that the firearm was a firestorm 1911 government 45 AUTO but were unable to read the serial number do to the rusty condition of the gun. Police submitted it to the Chattanooga Property Division for safe keeping. ... (click for more)

All I Want For Christmas Are Digitized Newspapers For 2018 - And Response

With recent news of the Public Library investing in their own StoryCorps-ish effort with the Chattanooga Memory Project, it got me thinking about digitizing local newspapers again.   It's been two and a half years since the Chattanooga Public Library committed to sending out a request for proposals to digitize the local newspapers they have on microfilm. Back in ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Top Of My Desk

I am always pleasantly amused when people ask me how I can come up with something different to write about each day. The truth is that it is a rare day indeed when there isn’t something I want to share. As I sat down at my desk yesterday and looked about, I laughed at myself because there were several stacks each worthy of a story so please allow me to present “the best of” the ... (click for more)

Vols' Pruitt Is A "Ball Coach" Who Won't Forget HIs Roots

KNOXVILLE -- He is still the guy that taught them how to play kickball and officiated their dodgeball games. He's still the guy that wore a Fort Payne Wildcats football T-shirt to class every day and carried them over his shoulder across the playground if they got hurt. Before he rose to prominence as a college football coach, Jeremy Pruitt was a PE teacher at Wills Valley ... (click for more)

UTC Women Fall To Virginia Tech 64-44

The Chattanooga Lady Mocs started off the current basketball season with three straight losses, including a 60-30 whipping at Green Bay on November 11. Things had gotten better since that time as the Lady Mocs came into Sunday afternoon’s home game with Virginia Tech on a six-game winning streak, but the train jumped off the track, the local girls had one of their poorest performances ... (click for more)