The human cost of Japanese provision of safe haven for child abductors.

I’m grateful to Mr. Franklin for writing this piece. I’ve pasted an excerpt below.

Child’s abduction shows need for Japan to sign accord


The parental abduction of a 6-year-old Bellevue boy by his mother highlights important issues about child custody that are making the news more and more.

… According to the Department of Justice, more than 200,000 children are abducted by a parent in the United States each year. Parental abduction has rightly been called child abuse by psychologists such as Nancy Faulkner, who described the trauma suffered by those children in a paper to the United Nations.

Parents who kidnap their children must hide from the authorities, so the child has nowhere to turn for security but to the abducting parent. Forced isolation means that the child loses contact with his or her extended family, as well as with the other parent.

That dependency may well be exactly what the abducting parent craves. Faulkner described the personality type of the abducting parent as one in which “the needs of the parent override the developmental needs of the child.”

Over time, abducted children tend to manifest “depression, loss of community, loss of stability, security and trust, excessive fearfulness, loneliness, anger, helplessness, disruption in identity formation and fear of abandonment.” Often, those problems can last into adulthood.

It is far past time for Japan to join the family of 84 nations that have bound themselves to the Hague Convention. There should be nowhere in the world that provides a safe haven for child abductors.

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