When your child goes missing, the weight of that discovery is near-crushing. Yet, apart from the emotional crisis that both parents and children experience, the protective and left-behind parent’s immediate goal is to fix the situation and bring the child home.
The public often believes that our Canadian government actively participates in returning Canadian children home when they have been kidnapped abroad. This isn’t the case.
Though Canada has law and policy which guarantees the rights of Canadian children are protected, it does not cross over in-practice to Canadian children abducted internationally.
Our legislation needs reform. Specific and clear mechanisms as stated in law and policy are required, to empower the government of Canada to take action abroad and to insist that the rights of all Canadians are upheld. This means that in addition to diplomacy, the Canadian government must examine the aid it provides to the harbouring countries, and provide hostage negotiation and finally military aid if required – the objective is to have Canadian children returned back home as soon as possible.
ROCH advocates for legislative change because all children have a right to be safe, to be freed from abduction, to have their basic needs met and to thrive back home in Canada.
Calls to Action
Return Our Children Home Canada calls upon the Canadian government to change its approach to resolving international family abduction. We are publishing a set of Calls to Action that identify concrete changes Canada can make in order to better protect Canadian children abducted abroad.
These changes are informed by our community, whose experiences unfortunately mirror those of decades of seeking parents in Canada and elsewhere: the existing international mechanisms, when available, are weak in ways that abducting parents and harbouring countries can easily exploit; recourse is rarely available; and Canada’s approach to international engagement lacks the urgency, transparency and coordination that the abduction of a child demands.
For more information, read the Calls to Action.
Please speak with your Member of Parliament about this difficult but necessary work.
Recent Advocacy Work
- Petition to the Canadian Government (10/31/2022)
- Ottawa 2022: Vigil on Parliament Hill (7/6/2022)
- Ottawa 2022: International Conversations (6/6/2022)
- Ottawa 2022: First Annual Conference (5/3/2022)
- 1st Annual Parents’ Conference (4/21/2022)
- Calls to Action Published (12/13/2021)
- Return Our Children Home Canada / iStand Parent Network (9/26/2021)
- Letter to the Honourable Marc Garneau (2/24/2021)