National Missing Children's Day on May 25 provides an opportunity to reflect on how the United States government works to prevent international parental child abduction. Secretary Clinton recorded a message to commemorate National Missing Children's Day and the Department's other efforts to assist families in cases of international parental child abduction. You may view it here.
As Special Advisor for Children's Issues, I engage with foreign government officials on the issues of intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction. I strive to protect the welfare and interests of children by increasing the number of abducted children returned to their parents, strengthening legal safeguards and developing international relationships to resolve current abduction cases and prevent future ones.
Last week, I discussed with Brazilian officials ways to speed the reunification of left-behind parents with their children. I urged Brazil to hasten their efforts to resolve these difficult abduction cases in a timely manner through the Hague Process. We agreed to establish a working group to focus on international children's issues, and will convene our first meeting this summer. Our efforts with Brazil illustrate the State Department's global commitment to protect children and reunify families. It's my hope that we might all contribute to this mission in some way.
As Secretary Clinton said, "On this National Missing Children's Day, let's continue to stand up, speak out, and do our part to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe. And let's help children around the world come home."
If you or someone you know is a left-behind parent, or would like to discuss preventing an international abduction with our office, we urge you to contact us toll free at 1-888-407-4747or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.