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.


Catoosa County Arrest Report For July 24-30

Click  here  for the Catoosa County arrest report for July 24-30. (click for more)

July Is Record Month For Court-Ordered Restitution In TennCare Fraud Cases

The month of July brought a record for the state’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) in terms of the amount of money people have been ordered to repay the state for TennCare fraud. In July, people convicted of TennCare fraud were ordered to make $154,000 in restitution to TennCare. In total, TennCare fraud restitutions have led to more than $3 million being repaid to the state. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga's Memorial Day

It is recorded in the Fourth Chapter of the Book of Joshua, that after the nation had crossed the River Jordan, Joshua would receive a divine commandment to choose 12 men from among the people and tell them to take 12 stones from the middle of the river.  Each man placed a stone on their shoulder which represented one of the tribes of Israel, and served as a memorial ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: They Still Love The ‘Lickers’

When Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fl.) introduced the 2015 version of the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” in Congress this week, he already had a bipartisan crowd of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats as co-sponsors. That’s hardly amazing. Today there are over 280 organizations, associations, veterinary and animal advocates who vehemently support the legislation, because it is well documented, ... (click for more)

Justin Brown Signs With Hiwassee College

Only weeks after signing Red Bank's Jalen Moore to a scholarship, Hiwassee head baseball coach Shane Gardner was back in Chattanooga on Wednesday evening. This time he was in the Scenic City looking for a player he described as "a spark plug, someone who could boost our team and contribute right away." He believes he's found that young man in former Chattanooga School for the ... (click for more)

Robert Powderly Still Active After All Of These Years

It didn’t take long for Robert Powderly to get fully involved in the running boom back in the late 70s. Millions of Americans joined the parade back in those days where running was their main source of physical fitness and Powderly was a big part of it. Powderly is now 68 and retired from U.S. Pipe where he worked in the accounting department.   He’s also had a couple ... (click for more)