2012 was a very good year for the I CARE Foundation to build upon. However, the reality is that the fight we fight is similiar to the biblical story of David vs. Goliath.
Still, where there are hearts of goodness committed to acts of goodness, anything is possible. This notion is one we believe and is exemplifed by the many miracles that we created this past year - playing key roles in reuniting many kidnapped children.
But the work we need to do . . . we really do believe that if our legislative policy initiatives are passed, we will cripple the mountain of abduction.
The following are the priorities of the I CARE Foundation's outreach and stewardship:
What Needs To Be Done
- Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction inbound member-state signatories need to adhere to the spirit of the international treaty and act to expeditiously decide on litigation concerning the return of the child. The I CARE Foundation will launch a research study on time-related matters connected to international child abduction and use our findings to educate policymakers and administrators around the world.
- Courts in signatory member-states must act fairly and without bias so the international treaty is upheld. The I CARE Foundation will launch a research study on bias-related matters connected to international child abduction and use our findings to educate policymakers and administrators around the world
- Judges in courts all over the world who preside over IPCA cases must be well-trained on all matters of IPCA, including the reality that abduction is a severe and abusive crime against a child that enables an abductor to further abuse a child during the time litigation brought by a targeted parent occurs. Furthermore, courts and their judges must act to counter-balance any stall tactics implemented by an abductor or their legal counsel as such activity is often implemented to strategically financially break the chasing parent due to the extreme cost chasing parents face when trying to reunite with their kidnapped child. Of course, the courts must enforce the universally recognized notion amongst signatory nations that IPCA is extreme abuse, and extreme abuse is not in the best interest of any child. The I CARE Foundation will release our research study on court-education and judge competancy connected to international child abduction and use our findings to educate policymakers and administrators around the world
- Sanctions by Hague member-nations against non-complying Hague member-nations must simply not be discussed but enacted. The collateral damage of innocent children in lieu of other foreign policy issues should not be acceptable under any circumstance. The I CARE Foundation will seek to educate lawmakers in the United States about the costs related to collatreal damage, while also creating a grass-roots educational awarenss campaign stating that collateral damage of children due to policy initiatives is not acceptable, particularly when we're talking about over 100,000 American children's lives over the next 10 year.
- The I CARE Foundation will participate in the production of the upcoming feature documentary film, '150,000 Internationally Kidnapped Children'.
- New state and federal laws (in Canada, provincial and national laws) geared toward child abduction and child trafficking must be created and upheld by both law enforcement and courts. This includes the I CARE Foundation's initiatives to have the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative modifed, and, to create a Secondary Prevent Departure Program. It is the belief of the I CARE Foundation that such initiatives will put a significant stop-gap in abduction.
- In the United States, the Senate passed SR 543, which resolved that the American government and all agencies charged with a role in preventing or reuniting internationally kidnapped children use all legal remedies available to them under law to help children, including consideration of criminal prosecution of abductors and those who have aided or abetted in a kidnappers activity. It is imperative that individuals who conspire to or actually abduct or aid in an abduction of a child are prosecuted. The I CARE Foundation will be releasing a study that addresses this matter.
- IPCA is a criminal act of kidnapping under the International Kidnapping Crimes Act. The act of kidnapping of any form is an inhumane act. Kidnappers who flee to another country must be extradited back to the country where the abduction took place. Thus, it is critical that new agreements are created between many countries that allow for extradition of parents who kidnap, which unfortunately does not exist today. The I CARE Foundation will work to educate lawmakers and policy administrators about the importance of this issue.
- Parents everywhere must be aware that IPCA is real, growing, and could potentially impact their lives, particularly in an ever-growing multi-cultural global society where individuals from different nations create relationships that result in the birth of a child, and, the prevalence of divorce in society. Critically, the I CARE Foundation will continue to act as stewards and share the message that IPCA is a real issue that all parents must be aware of.
- Continued research in the area of IPCA must be conducted. The I CARE Foundation will continue conducting and publishing an assortment of research in this area.
- And whenever possible, the I CARE Foundation will attempt to help families in crisis.
- We will continue to build our attorney network while also continuing our efforts to recruit qualified lawyers to participate in the U.S. Department of State's Hague Attorney Network.
- We will continue our efforts to share our research on the world stage.
- We will continue to build strategic NGO partnerships with organizations committed to protecting children and assisting families in crisis.
Our work continues.
And to those of you who have shown your spirited support, we thank you for your kind gestures and words. They do matter and make a difference in all of our lives.
Kindest regards to all,
Peter Thomas Senese
The I CARE Foundation