On March 29, 2023, NDP MP Randall Garrison presented our petition before Canadian parliament:
“I rise today to table E-petition 4151 which deals with the scourge of International Parental Child Abduction. This is where one parent takes a child out of the country to attempt to deny the other parent contact with their child. The petition points out the last time the House of Commons studied this problem was more than 25 years ago, it calls on us to designate April 25th as a day of observation for victims of International Parental Child Abduction, and it calls on this House to study ways for the Government to provide effective assistance for parents trying to recover contact with their children and protection of their children’s rights to be in contact with both parents.”NDP Member of Parliament Randall Garrison
The contents of the petition are as follows:
Petition to the Government of Canada
- The Criminal Code recognizes International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA) as a criminal act detrimental to the abducted child;
- In 1997, a federal committee undertook a series of hearings on IPCA. These resulted in comprehensive recommendations delivered to the government as FAIT Committee Report No. 4 (36-1);
- 25 years later, the issues raised in this report are unresolved. The federal government does not provide adequate support or effective solutions to victims of IPCA;
- In response to a lack of effective advocacy from the Canadian government in their cases, Canadian parents of abducted children have formed an organization named Return Our Children Home Canada; and
- The organization’s goals are to support victimized parents, to engage the government to promote change, to seek justice for abducted Canadian children, and to prevent future abductions.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Deliver a renewed mandate to the appropriate committees to update the 1997 FAIT Committee Report and compel the government to respond comprehensively;
2. Require that representatives of parents of abducted children participate in this process;
3. Designate an ongoing contact within the appropriate committees who will be available to engage with victimized parents at a strategic level;
4. Designate April 25th as a day of observation for the victims of IPCA; and
5. Articulate a clear policy in support of abducted children’s rights in cases where mechanisms such as the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction are not applicable or not respected.E-Petition 4151
Petitions must be sponsored by a Member of Parliament and signed by at least 500 Canadian citizens in order to be presented. Once presented, the government has 45 business days to table a response.
It is our hope that the petition will begin the long-overdue process of updating the 1997 committee work on International Parental Child Abduction, and spark renewed energy within the government to help resolve abductions urgently and provide better supports for their victims.
We would like to thank Mr. Garrison and his team for their invaluable support.