Family Law Reform Association Calls For Child Abduction Law

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23rd November 2009, 08:30am - Views: 972

"Working for equality for all in family law matters"

Date: 23/11/2009


Government figures reveal that about 150 children are abducted from Australia
each year by a parent.

The real figure is much higher because official figures only include children
abducted to countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention.

The Family Law Reform Association (FLRA) is calling for new laws to prevent
children being abducted from Australia by a parent.

In a letter to the Australian Attorney-General, the Secretary of the FLRA (Mrs
Coral Slattery) says the association is alarmed about the number of children
being abducted from Australia.

International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA) is one of the most extreme forms
of abuse a parent can inflict upon a child, "These children are suddenly ripped
away from one of their parents and everything they've ever known" said Mrs
Slattery. IPCA causes extreme psychological damage to the child.

Unlike several other developed countries, IPCA is not a crime in Australia.

"This places Australian children at a much higher level of risk than children in
other countries" says Mrs Slattery.

Other parenting groups and international organizations have joined with the
FLRA to campaign for the proposed legislation, along with stiff penalties for
parents who break the proposed law.

"Australians don't tolerate other forms of child abuse and they won't tolerate this
form either. An international abduction can happen to any child at any time
because there are no laws to prevent it", said Mrs Slattery.

Because IPCA is not a crime in Australia, the other parent has to navigate
through a complex maze of national and international legal systems. "This is

extremely expensive and slow, and happens when the parent is seriously
traumatized and at a time when quick action is needed", said Mrs Slattery.

The proposed law will deter parents who might consider abducting their children.
It will also allow measures to be put in place to find abducted children sooner so
the process of returning the child can begin more quickly.

"Our children are our future. We want to work with the Attorney-General to help
reduce the risk of them being abducted" said Mrs Slattery.


Spokesperson: Ken Thompson 0417-416-024

Photo of Andrew:

Caption: Andrew John THOMPSON who was abducted in April 2008


Media contact Ken Thompson - 0417 416 759

Family Law Reform Association NSW Inc., PO Box 807, SUTHERLAND NSW 1499
e-mail: [email protected]

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