As 2017 begins, we reinvigorate our focus on the prevention and return of children who were abducted by a parent and removed from their habitual residence. We made great strides in 2016 to prevent international parental child abduction and to resolve these tragic cases by applying the tools provided under the Hague Abduction Convention. We welcomed Bolivia and the Philippines as new parties to the Convention, and officially partnered with Thailand under the framework.
Too many cases, however, remain unresolved with countries that are not meeting their treaty obligations or have not yet joined the Convention.
We are specifically concerned with unacceptably long judicial delays in Brazil. There are 14 abduction cases that have been pending with the Brazilian judiciary for more than a year. We also note the lack of responsiveness from Bahamian authorities with regard to open Convention cases. While we continue to engage bilaterally at every opportunity, it is our obligation to publicly highlight these concerns and seek full compliance with the Convention.