Alarming figures reveal that cases of child abduction and prevention are on the increase.
The latest figures released by the UK’s leading child abduction charity, reunite International Child Abduction Centre, show a 9% increase in the number of calls that have come through to their advice line.
During 2012, 506 new abduction cases were reported to Reunite, this volume of cases represented a total of 516 children that have been abducted out of the UK, 167 children that have been abducted into the UK, 12 children abducted between UK jurisdictions and 33 children abducted between non-UK jurisdictions.
These figures tie up with statistics released during 2012 that showed an 88% increase in the number of abduction cases over the course of the last decade. Those statistics revealed that 270 cases were reported during 2003-2004 while more than 500 were reported during 2012.
Jane Chanot, head of Hartnell Chanot & Partners’ child abduction team, commented:- ‘As a specialist family law firm, we receive a regular stream of enquiries about child abduction and prevention cases.’ Jane went on to comment that:- “We are expecting to see a further increase in the number of cases we see, as parents try to avoid potential legal fees following the introduction of the legal aid changes that came into effect on the 1st of April 2013.’
Alison Shalaby, reunite’s CEO, commented:
“Poland, USA, Spain and Pakistan were the most common destinations for children abducted from the UK but in 2012 our cases involved more than 100 different countries. This demonstrates that parental child abduction is not country or faith specific but is a truly global issue. What is especially concerning is that many abductions go unreported and so the actual number of children abducted is likely to be much higher.”
Reunite has been active in local communities, raising awareness of international parental child abduction and ensuring that parents are informed about the steps they can take to reduce the risk of abduction.