Fewer children abducted by a parent, mothers usually the perpetrator

Photo: DutchNews.nl
Photo: DutchNews.nl

Fewer child abduction cases have taken place this summer but some 34 children were taken out of the Netherlands by a parent despite – and in some cases thanks to – coronavirus travel restrictions.

The number of abductions by parents was the lowest in the last five years, according to figures from the international child abduction centre quoted by RTL Nieuws. Poland, Belgium, Turkey, Spain and Germany headed the list of countries where parents – usually the mother – flee to.

Last year 207 children were abducted, also down on the previous year when 221 children were illegally parted from one of their parents. The downward trend is welcomed by the centre,  director Coskun Çörüz said. ‘But every abducted child is one too many,’ he told RTL.

The coronavirus travel restrictions did not prevent the child abductions. Some 17 children were taken out of the Netherlands in March, April and May when a number of countries were in lock down and many borders were closed.

The measures also encouraged parents not to return children who had been abroad who used them as an excuse, Çörüz said. Others took their child abroad without the consent of their partners because ‘it would be safer’. Mothers are responsible for some three-quarters of cases.

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