The tip of the iceberg
In 2019, the Federal Office of Justice (OFJ) registered 71 requests regarding parental abductions originating in Switzerland.
in 2019, the Federal Office of Justice (OFJ) registered 71 requests regarding parental abductions originating in Switzerland.
This figure represents ONLY requests that were made to countries that have ratified the Hague Convention.
See OFJ statistics.
The Convention stipulates that if children have been illegally taken abroad by a parent, they may be returned home upon request from their country of residence.
This Convention has been ratified by 84 countries, including Brazil, France, Germany, Australia, Bulgaria, Chile ...
The Hague Convention
For example, when a parent abducts his or her child(ren) to other countries such as Algeria, Nigeria, Indonesia, Senegal or Madagascar, the figures on these abductions are not disclosed because :
- There is no federal agency that is assigned to the task of compiling data on parental abductions or other types of missing children.
- No proceedings are initiated by the parent "victim" of the disappearance of his or her child(ren), sometimes due to lack of financial means, sometimes due to lack of knowledge of the system. Over times it is doubtful that the effectiveness of the Swiss judicial instrument will have any impact in the country where his or her children are located.
- Criminal proceedings for child abduction are initiated at the cantonal level.
What we must be aware of today is that behind every parental abduction there is a real family drama.
Imagine that the father or mother of your children disappears with the heart of your family.
Right now, we're supporting 3 dads who are going through this wrench.
We are there for all these parents, we exist precisely to do this work of accompaniment which is a real journey of the fighter, especially in this type of disappearance.
For Missing Children, it is also time to collect data from the 26 cantonal police forces and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. In the absence of political will to establish statistics, we hope to obtain partial data which we will publish here: https://missingchildren.ch/en/our-actions/studies-statistics.
Thank you for sharing this mission with us.