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Ottawa 2022: International Conversations

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This is the second in a series of posts about the 2022 Return Our Children Home Canada conference in Ottawa. For the first, click here.

While the Return Our Children Home Canada conference was focused on gathering parents in Canada’s capital, our work is implicitly international. Our children were abducted across an international boundary. Our familiar legal system is complicated and failure-prone enough — but each of us now also needs to learn about one or even two more legal systems, and all the relevant international agreements that they might share.

The only hope we have in navigating this complexity is partnership and communication.

Some countries are known problems — places that abductors know they can abduct children without serious repercussions. These countries may protect abductors on the basis of nationality or gender, or may not follow established best practices, presenting loopholes for abductors: places like Japan, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, India, Brazil, and too many more.

Canada’s relatively small population means that it is often difficult for parents of abducted children to find other parents to network with who share their particular mix of challenges — which are often unique to the combination of the two countries involved.

For all of these reasons it is important for us to engage with the various international organizations that are working alongside us.

On April 25, 2022 we hosted a meeting with several such organizations:

  • iHope, a Lebanese organization focusing on legal precedent-setting through strategic litigation
  • Find My Parent, an organization building tools for estranged families (including abducted children) to reconnect
  • Shine The Light for Abducted Children, an American organization supporting and connecting parents of abducted children

We were joined by several of members of our Return Our Children Home Canada community.

This is a recording of that session.