Several weeks ago, I shared how the international abduction of the young Colorado child, Luke Turner, to Colorado raised serious concerns because the American child was taken into Canada despite an AMBER Alert being issued.
AMBER ALERT FAILS: INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION TAKES PLACE
The fact is each law enforcement organization that issues an AMBER Alert does so within a certain radius. AMBER Alerts do not automatically get transmitted nationwide or to all border crossing points.
In the case of Luke Turner's abduction, the fact is that the AMBER Alert did not cover the distance the child's father, Mony Ray Turner, had traveled to.
Equally concering is the fact that according to a high-ranking U.S. Government official, Monty Ray Turner appears to have had airline tickets for him and his son to travel from Canada to Isreal.
THERE WAS SEVERAL COUNTRIES INVOLVED IN THE ABDUCTION PLANS
As I previoulsy stated on CBC News in Manitoba prior to this confirmation, it did not make sense that the abductor was going to remain in Canada, but instead, Canada had to be the launching country but not the final destination. And though there appears to have been tickets to Isreal, there is no certaintity that Isreal was the final destination the abducting parent was going to.
Nevertheless, the young child was about to live a life of a fugitive.
Often, parents who abduct a child between the United States and Canada, or the United States and Mexico often use the adjoining border country as the point of initial abduction because of the ease to travel between countries with a child. In many international abduction cases, the abductor then departs with the kidnapped child to another country.
This happens often. And it is extremely concering.
As exemplified in the abduction of Canada's Stephen Watkins' children, the abducting mother illegally crossed into the United States using invalid Canadian passports. Then she traveled to Poland with the two abducted children, where she then went underground. After an extensive search, Mr. Watkins found his children. However, Poland - a member of the Hague Convention in name only - decided that despite Canada demanding the return of the children, despite arrest warrants being issued against the mother, despite a clear-cut violation of many laws and extensive fraud committed by the mother - Poland decided that the children had acclimated to life in Poland and refused to return the Canadian children to their custodial father! And in case you are wondering - Mr. Watkins was not an abusive man. Poland just thumbed its resonsibillities to the Hague.
With cases like the Turner child or the Watkins children in mind, courts around the world must be mindful that in many cases of abduction - and this includes the wrongful removal of a child or the wrongful detention of a child abroad - the 'inbound' landing country of abduction often is not the final point a child is going to be taken to.
Often there is a third country.
Many of these countries are either not members of the Hague Convention (think Asia, the Middle East, or Africa), or if they are, they are not in compliance with the convention (think for example Brazil, Mexico, Germany, and Poland).
Once a child gets into a non-Hague country or a non-complying country, it is near impossible to bring them home.
SUMMER IS WHEN PARENTS INTERNATIONALLY ABDUCT CHILDREN
As summer takes place many children traveling abroad will be internationally abducted under the Hague Convention because they will not be returned home to their country of original jurisdiciton.
This is international child abduction.
Parents considering to allow a child to travel to another country with their other parent, especially if that parent has strong ties to that country, should strongly consider signing the I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form - regardless if you are happily married or divorced. And if you are divorced and a court granted the other parent to travel abroad with your child, you should really consider requesting the court to have both parties sign the I CARE Foundation travel consent form as it was designed to help protect children from abduction.
In other cases of abduction that will occur this summer, an abducting parent will wrongfully remove a child from their home country despite a court order or in secret because they possess dual citzenship and a secondary passport for that child unknown to the other parent.
The bottom line: society must be mindful of every abduction tactic and act to stop international child kidnappings.
As the case of Luke Turner demonstrates, international parental child abduciton can leasd to severe violent acts. And once a child is taken, it is nearly impossible to bring them home.
Luke Turner is a very fortunate child. He was located in Canada before the alleged plans to remove him to Isreal and perhaps another country unfolded.
The article below I had written on May 28th, 2013 concerning the abduction of Brandy Turner's three year old son.
To learn more about international child abduction please visit the I CARE Foundation and the U.S. Department of State.
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May 28th, 2013
A Longmont, Colorado mother who was assaulted this past Saturday by her separated husband after he broke into her home, where he is alleged to have pepper-sprayed her before using a stun gun on her before he kidnapped their three-year old child to Canada despite an Amber Alert being issued for the abducted child is hopeful that she will be reunited with her son over the coming days. The child's father was arrested in Manitoba, Canada on Sunday, and thankfully, the child has been reported to be doing okay.
|Brandy Turner Holding Her Son Luke Prior To Abduction|
As the school summer vacation months approach, it is anticipated that the majority of criminal international parental child abductions will take place. How to prevent these kidnappings is at the core of concern for tens of thousands of abduction prevention stakeholders, including targeted parents of abduction, law enforcement, courts of local jurisdiction, and respective government agencies around the world charged with protecting children.
The Canadian Border Services Agency is presently investigating how the child was able to enter Canada despite an Amber Alert issuance.
|How Monty Ray Turner Entered Canada Despite An|
Amber Alert Is Unknown At This Time
In the world of international parental child abduction, an abductor may initially enter into an adjacent country that shares a border with the child's country of habitual residency due to ease of departure, only to use the first landing country as a launching point to disappear with the child to another country and into a sea of seven billion faces. It is presently unknown if Mr. Turner was intending to leave Canada for another country. Nevertheless, one thing appears clear: the abductor seemingly knew where he was going, which means he may have previously canvassed an exit route out of the United States traveling along the remote northern plains that have limited border security.
In a previously well-publicized international parental child abduction case that remains active, Mr. Stephen Watkins of Canada had his two young sons illegally removed from Canada to the United States by his former wife Edyta ( Ustaszewski / Ustaszewska ) with the assistance of the abductor's father, Tadeusz Ustaszewski. Once in the United States, Edyta Watkins disappeared, and was able to enter Poland. Despite Poland being a signatory of the Hague Convention of the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, and arrest warrants for kidnapping issued against her, Edyta Watkins has remained at-large, and Mr. Watkins children have not been returned home. Mr. Watkins children traveled into the United States without valid passports.
Targeted parents around the world who have their children abducted often do not reunite with their children. Rarely, are abducting parents prosecuted, as courts often fail to hold accountable an abductor for their act of kidnapping, often wrongfully citing 'best interest of the child'.
However, recently, parental child abductors are starting to be held accountable, which may be one of the reasons why the reported cases of outbound international parental child abduction originating from the United States has declined by 15% over the each of the last two fiscal years (2011 and 2012) after nearly 30 years of continued growth. It should be noted with great exception that Canada has failed to publicly report the number of Canadian children abducted from Canada since 2008.
|Monty Ray Turner and Luke Turner|
As prosecutors in the state of Colorado are working to take custody of Monty Ray Turner, 51, who was being held on numerous charges, including kidnapping, a looming cloud covers Canada, the United States, Mexico, and island-nations located in the Caribbean due to existing international travel document requirements for minors under 16 years old need to cross a border that were established under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). Specifically, a child traveling by land or by sea across adjacent borders who is under 16 years of age does not need to present a passport at the time of deparute. Instead, all that is required is a photocopy of the child's naturalization papers, such as a photo copy of a birth certificate.
|Peter Thomas Senese's Critically|
Acclaimed Novel On International
Parental Child Abduction
CHASING THE CYCLONE
It should be of great concern that the ability to falsify travel documentation for children is appears to be relatively easy. The capability to easily present travel documentation without another parent's consent or to falsify travel documents for children in cases where a passport is not required appears relatively easy. The fact that simply a birth certificate or worse, a “copy” of a birth certificate and a letter of permission with no documentation to verify its validity, is sufficient to cross international borders is a serious security concern. And although it is is required that a parent or guardian traveling with the child without the other parent possess a letter of consent from the absent parent(s) we must strongly consider that there is no way to verify the validity of a parental consent letter.
So where do we go from here?
Clearly, the summer seaon is upon us, and with the school summer break now here, this is a time of year when thousands of children living in North America will become crime victims of abduction.
As the Turner case unfolds, we must not only ask ourselves how did Mr. Turner exit the United States despite an Amber Watch, but how did he do this. Furthermore, as the Watkins case resoundly demonstrated, not only should there be a mandatory requirement for all individuals regardless of age and type of travel (land, sea, or air) to present a valid passport at the time of departure. Note how I said 'Valid Passport'?
Clearly, children like Luke Turner and every other child deserve to be safe from kidnapping.
How Are Children Internationally Abducted By Their Parent
|The I CARE Foundation|