US wants India to sign treaty on child abduction

US wants India to sign treaty on child abduction


New Delhi: The United States wants India to sign a multilateral treaty on child abduction that will help tackle cases where parents’ non-compatibility leads to child trauma and forcible separation from one of his or her parent - at times across continents.

Citing about 45 instances in which children were allegedly forcibly brought to India from the US, American Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Maura Harty, drew the attention of Indian law ministry officials to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction during her recent visit here.

Harty told PTI that she tried to put across the point that governments could come together to do a lot to ensure that children were treated well and cases involving “abduction" by parents could be resolved expeditiously.

Harty, who is understood to have voiced concerns of American citizens - predominantly of Indian origin - who seek consular help for keeping in touch with their separated children brought to India, said “I simply come here to urge the Indian government authorities to consider becoming Hague signatories."

The Americans are insisting on India signing the Treaty as it states that in case of a child custody dispute, the case should be heard in a court with jurisdiction over the habitual residence of child. This, in most of the 45 cases - which involve a total of 55 children - cited by American officials, would mean a court in the US.