New Possibilities for Preventing Suspected Child Abductions

New Possibilities for Preventing Suspected Child Abductions

When relationship conflicts in international marriages escalate, there is in an increased risk of child abduction by one of the parents. The parent who does not obtain custody may attempt to return to his or her homeland with the joint offspring. Concerned mothers or fathers protect themselves legally by means of limited visitation rights or control over a passport (deposit). All the same, there are dozens of child abductions each year. Repatriations are not easy. Assistance from the state is not always effective: the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction only applies to contracting states.  New is that it will be possible to register a child in the Schengen Information System (SIS) as a preventative measure if there is fear of an abduction. This closes a significant security gap. Anyone who wants to leave the Schengen area with a child registered in the SIS will be intercepted. The Swiss Federal Council has opened the consultation procedure (www.sem.admin.ch/sem/de/home/aktuell/gesetzgebung/sis-bgiaa.html). It is foreseen that these regulations will go into force in 2021.

-Dr. Heidi Pfister-Ineichen, Attorney at Law and Partner at Studhalter & Pfister Rechtsanwälte AG

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