Minister of State Ablonczy Marks Missing Children’s Day

May 25, 2012 - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today marked National Missing Children’s Day.

“The pain and anguish a parent feels when a child has been abducted is colossal,” said Minister of State Ablonczy. “International abductions are by nature difficult and complex. Our consular officials in Canada and abroad are working tirelessly to provide support to parents left behind.”

In the case of an international child abduction, consular officials can help in a number of ways, including by providing:

  • assistance in establishing what travel documentation may have been used for the child or whether a visa was issued;
  • information on the country concerned, including its legal system and family laws;
  • a list of lawyers in the country concerned and assistance with the authentication of needed documents;
  • assistance with contacting officials in other countries; and
  • evidence to foreign authorities of child custody, abduction, abuse or neglect.

The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is the main international treaty that addresses the return of wrongfully abducted children to their country of habitual residence. As of January 2012, 87 countries had adopted the Convention. Canada has been party to the Convention since 1983 and continues to encourage more countries to join. The Convention offers considerable assistance in the case of children abducted to signatory countries.

In addition, Canada is co-chair of the Working Party of Mediation in the context of the Malta Process, which aims to promote the development of mediation structures. They serve to help resolve custody issues in cases of cross-border abductions where the Convention does not apply.

For more information, please visit International Child Abductions: A Manual for Parents.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

John Babcock
Senior Communications Adviser
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI