International child abductions
VERA UGOLINI & WILLEM-JAN VAN DER WOLF
It is international child abduction if a child is transferred or kept behind in a different country by one of the parents (or by other relatives in exceptional cases). This is a criminal offence (section 279 of the Criminal Code).
There are incoming and outgoing international child abduction cases. If it is an incoming case, it concerns the abduction of a child by one of the parents from another country to the Netherlands. If it is an outgoing case, it concerns the abduction of a child by one of the parents from Europe to another country.
There are about 60 incoming cases on average per year with the request to lead the child or the children back to another country. There are about 110 outgoing cases of children having been abducted to another country with the parent who stayed behind asking for the child to be led back to Europe.
There are two international agreements to fight international child abduction: a European Convention and an international convention (the so called 1980 Hague international child abduction convention). Both conventions became effective in Europe on 1 September 1990. In addition the European Brussels IIbis Regulation has been effective since March 2005. The Brussels IIbis Regulation also contains provisions on international child abduction concurrent with the Hague Convention.