Child Abduction Cases Hit All Time High

New figures show there were over 100 child abduction cases to and from Ireland last year, representing an all time high. The Department of Justice’s Child Abduction Unit processed a total of 170 cases in 2006.

59 of these were carried forward from the previous year while the rest were new. Almost two thirds of the cases related to children being brought to Ireland from other countries. The remainder were abductions from the State to other jurisdictions.

All investigations are carried out in line with European conventions that allow for children to be returned to parents with custody rights, if they have been removed without permission.

Where an abducted child was brought to Ireland, the High Court ordered the return of eight children and refused applications to return two others.

Many of the cases were resolved voluntarily and others were withdrawn so by the end of last year 33 out of 72 cases were still outstanding.

In seven cases foreign courts ordered the return of the children; in three cases the return of a child was refused, six applications were withdrawn and 17 cases were awaiting resolution at the end of the year.