International Child Abduction

Help with international child abduction Affairs

It seems to many people international child abduction fortunately far away, but every year dozens of Dutch families fall victim to this crime.

But what exactly is it? International child abduction occurs when one parent takes his/her child(ren) to another country without the consent of the other parent and the following conditions are met:

  • The parent left behind had parental authority at the time of the abduction.
  • The left-behind parent actually exercised this right.
  • The kidnapped child is a minor.

In most cases, international child abduction is the result of a family conflict, in which the left-behind parent often feels powerless. However, we strongly advise against taking any action yourself. This could be illegal and delay the return of the child. Making an attempt to abduct the child yourself can also entail many risks, such as:

  • Endangering yourself, the children and possibly others.
  • It may also prejudice future judicial efforts that may be undertaken in the abduction country.
  • It can lead to the arrest and imprisonment of yourself and any accomplices.

In addition, there is still a risk that the other parent will organize another abduction, so that the fear continues.

At Strongwood we guide you in taking the right steps

Proper steps must be taken to achieve desired results, namely reuniting the child with the parent and preventing recurrence. Strongwood specializes in protecting against and investigating kidnappings and/or missing persons. We assist you from the beginning of the entire process and help you take the right steps.

Step 1: Declaration process

It is crucial to report an international child abduction according to the correct procedures. Strongwood offers guidance through this process, including what information is relevant to law enforcement and what needs to be reported.

The first 72 hours after a missing person or abduction are vital. Although the Dutch police have a waiting time of 24 hours, we understand that this is vital time that should not be lost. Strongwood has examples of cases where we solved the problem before the police could or should do anything.

Step 2: Tracking down the child

“Where is my child?” that is of course the most important question. By relying on international treaties and our worldwide network, we will trace the child as quickly as possible. We work together with experts from government institutions at home and abroad and with detectives who have the necessary contacts.

Once the child has been found, the situation will be quickly assessed on the scene to see if the child is in danger. In addition, supervision is provided to ensure that the final step in the process can be completed as quickly as possible.

Step 3: Repatriate – bringing the child back

Strongwood also assists with the return or repatriation of children who are abroad as a result of abduction, unauthorized transfer or evasion of parental authority.

In association with CWAT foundation we have the expertise to carry out the important 'fieldwork' locally in the country where the child has been taken. Our focus is on tracing the child, returning it non-violently and reuniting with the parent.

If you have any questions on this topic or dealing with international child abduction, don't hesitate to get in touch contact us without obligation up with our office.

Article 279. Use this article with the Police declaration

Anyone who deliberately removes a minor from legal authority over him or from the supervision of the person exercising this authority over him, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding six years or a fine of the fourth category

Imprisonment of up to nine years or a fine of the fifth category will be imposed if cunning, violence or threats of violence have been used, or if the minor is under twelve years old.

Do you have help or advice required?

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