Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The First Lady on International Child Abduction

Laura Bush at the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children Conference

Elysée Palace,Paris, France - January 17th, 2007

International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children Conference

"The United States made missing and exploited children a priority in 1981"

First Lady Laura Bush of the United States of America January 2007

I recently came across this press release issued by the Whitehouse press center after the First Lady of America, Laura Bush addressed an international conference hosted in Paris, France by President Chirac.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mrs Bush's sentiments but I do have serious issues with the gap between words and deeds. There is a call for greater foreign government cooperation
Every country must educate its citizens, especially women and children, so they can avoid this degradation
however very scant attention is paid to the void that exists for parents who have children abducted to America or from America.

International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children Conference Paris France

In the pecking order of priorities it is clear that international child abduction ranks extremely low, not only for local agencies and law enforcement but at the Whitehouse.

The majority of Mrs Bush's address dealt with the international issue of child pornography and the growing international response to dealing with perpetrators of this heinous crime.

Let's put this in perspective - international child abduction-v-international child pornography - I cannot disagree that child pornography must be tackled and must receive a higher priority than international child abduction and I write as a parent who's child has been taken across international boundaries and given into the care of a convicted pedophile.

When I found that Emily Rose was being "adopted" in Wisconsin in April 2003 I was staggered and frightened however when I found that this was happening from a convicted pedophile who advised me his son was adopting Emily Rose and he (the pedophile) had also been looking after her, I was terrified beyond anything I have ever experienced in my existence on this planet.

What I feel needs to be done is to educate senior leaders in America, Europe and around the world that international child abduction needs more attention too, not allowed to be an also ran that is disposed of rather than dealt with. Mrs Bush does not seem so far away from that sentiment as she goes on to state:

"A society shows its character in the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens. Each of us can help protect children in our societies, and every country must help protect children in our global society."

Mrs Bush, if you ever get to read this - salut as President Chirac would say, but please do not forget to mention the thousands of children who are internationaly abducted and at great risk as a consequence next time you have the opportunity and I write as a parent who's child taken to America, has been allowed to go blind.

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