mercredi 29 mai 2013

Trinidad and Tobago Acceds to Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects on International Child Abduction

The Republic of Trinadad and Tobago will no longer tolerate international child abduction as it has now formally acceded into signatory status with the United States with resepct to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction. 

“Although international child abduction is not a new problem, the incidence of such abductions continues to grow with the ease of international travel, the increase in bi-cultural marriages and the rise in the divorce rate. International child abductions have serious consequences for both the child and the left-behind parent,” began an official statement issued by the Trinadad and Tobago government. “The child is removed, not only from contact with the other parent, but also from his or her home environment and transplanted to a culture with which he or she may have had no prior ties. International abductors move the child to another State with a different legal system, social structure, culture and, often, language. These differences, plus the physical distance generally involved, can make locating, recovering and returning internationally abducted children complex and problematic.”

The statement said that in keeping with the measures outlined in the convention, the 'Civil Child Abduction Authority' has since been established to act as the country's Central Authority in order  “to deal with all matters relating to the civil aspects of international child abduction between Trinidad and Tobago and contracting territories”.

The announcement was made following talks between Trinadad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and US Vice-President Joe Biden at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

The accession, which makes Trinadad and Tobago to become the 69th nation to be accepted by the United States would have happened sooner as the United States expressed interest in partnering with Trinidad and Tobago. However, discussions only began in November 2011 when the head of the central authority was appointed.

According to the International Child Abduction Act, 2008, a Central Authority known as the Civil Child Abduction Authority, was established in the Ministry of the Attorney General to deal with all matters relating to the civil aspects of international child abduction between Trinidad and Tobago and other countries.

Under this authority to date, Trinidad and Tobago has partnered with 48 member states. The accession was confirmed in Cabinet note No. 121 dated May 21, 2013.

In commenting on the accession, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said, "It is a signal of the continued strengthening of diplomatic relations between the two nations," and continued by emphasized the importance of “protecting the most vulnerable sect within our two societies—children."

The United States Central Authority continues to provide input to the Governments of Japan, Morocco, Russia, Singapore, and Thailand, as each country has drafted implementing legislation for Convention ratification or accession.

United States Central Authority officials have also met with foreign officials from the following countries to discuss IPCA and progress towards joining the Convention including Egypt, Ghana, India, Japan, Jordan, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.

Julie Rosen of the I CARE Foundation commented, "The foundation's attorneys have worked closely with counsel in T and T as well as Anand Ramlogan's office, in providing practical advice on the challenges of international abduction in a way that assists targeted children while also remaining true to the spirit of the procedures required from a Central Authority. This is a big step forward for our friends in the Republic of Trinadad and Tobago, as well as children living in the Caribbean."