India must sign Hague Convention

WASHINGTON: India not signing the Hague Convention dealing with inter-parental child abduction is a "very serious" issue, the US president's nominee to be the next envoy to India has said.

The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980), signed by 96 countries, provides for a mechanism to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another.

During the confirmation hearing of Kenneth Juster before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Rob Portman from Ohio said that there are 80 known cases of abductions of American kids in India.

Notably, almost all of these cases are a result of marital dispute in which one of the parents have got permission from courts in India to have custody of the children.

In American parlance, these are considered as abductions, mainly because these kids are US citizen by birth.

India is placed second after Mexico when it comes to children being forced to return to the country by a parent in cases of marital discord.

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