International child abduction
Unfortunately, in some cases family conflicts can lead to a child abduction.
If a child is taken or held hostage abroad by one parent, against the will of the other parent and without being entitled to determine the child's place of residence alone, the child has been abducted. This act has harmful effects on the child, who is suddenly taken out of his familiar surroundings and held hostage to a parental conflict.
In cases of abduction our multidisciplinary team provides social and legal support as well as assessing the possibilities of a mediation. The ability to act across borders and aiming to uphold family ties is key in these situations. Our work involves locating the child, accompanying the “aggrieved” parent and providing legal and social advice in coordination with the authorities and services in charge, including the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ), which is the Central Authority for international child abduction in Switzerland.
If the child has been taken to a country that has not signed the HCCH 1980 Child abduction convention, ISS Switzerland relies on its network to implement measures to protect the child and establish contact with the abducting parent. In these cases, we always examine the possibility of transnational family mediation and support the finding of an agreement-based solution in the child’s best interest.
If a child is to be returned by court order or after an agreement has been reached between the parents, we prepare and accompany the child's return in coordination with the actors involved (authorities, parents, lawyers, child protection services, etc.).
- Information and advice for parents and authorities involved
- Locating the child
- Establishing contacts with the “aggrieved” parent
- Assessing a child’s situation
- International family mediation
- Coordinating a return