In total 292 children were abducted by a parent and taken to a foreign country last year, according to new figures from the child abduction centre IKO.
The 2022 cases represent a 27% rise on 2021 and in 78% of cases the child was taken away by their mother. The father was responsible in 20% of cases and another relative in the remaining 2%.
The IKO, which is funded by the government, said that the rise may not be due to a rise in abductions, but increased awareness of its services. At the same time, however, increased globalization and the rise in cross-border relationships may also play a part.
Most of the children who lived in the Netherlands were taken to Turkey. Of those brought to the Netherlands, most lived previously in Belgium, Poland and the UAE.
The centre offers mediation services to cross-border families. According to the Volkskrant, just three of the 265 mediation cases dealt with by the centre’s experts last year are known to have ended up as an abduction.
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