The U.S. State Department has just issued its 2017 Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction under the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA). The following is the Country Summary and related information from the eleventh country listed as “Noncompliant” in the report, Peru:
Country Summary: The United States and Peru have been partners under the Hague Abduction Convention since 2007. In 2016, Peru demonstrated a pattern of noncompliance. Specifically, the judicial authorities in Peru persistently failed to implement and abide by the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention. As a result of this failure, 28 percent of requests for the return of abducted children under the Convention have remained unresolved for more than 12 months. On average these cases have been unresolved for 27 months. Peru has been cited as non-compliant since 2014.
Central Authority: The Peruvian Central Authority gave the United States regular updates on all open cases, and conducted a bi-monthly conference call with the U.S. Central Authority. While the relationship with the Peruvian Central Authority is strong and productive, the United States is concerned that Peru is unable to resolve cases in a timely manner, and urges the Peruvian authorities to take appropriate steps to address this situation.
Voluntary Resolution: The Convention states that central authorities “shall take all appropriate measures to secure the voluntary return of the child or to bring about an amicable resolution of the issues.” In 2016, four abduction cases were resolved through voluntary means. The Peruvian Central Authority began all cases with an appeal for the parties to resolve cases voluntarily.
Location: In some cases, the competent authorities delayed taking appropriate steps to help locate a child after a Convention application was filed. The average time to locate a child was 39 days. The location efforts of the Peruvian Central Authority generally improved throughout 2016.
Judicial Authorities: The Peruvian judicial authorities demonstrated a pattern of noncompliance with the Convention through serious delays in deciding Convention cases. Convention cases were not heard expeditiously but instead waited with all other civil cases for hearings. Cases are generally pending with the judiciary for almost three years. In addition, there was a strike in the judicial system in 2016 which further slowed the scheduling of hearings.
Enforcement: The United States is not aware of any abduction cases in which a judicial order relating to international parental child abduction needed to be enforced by the Peruvian authorities.
Access: In 2016, the U.S. Central Authority had one open access case under the Convention in Peru. This case was opened in 2016. By December 31, 2016, this case remained open. No cases were pending with the Peruvian authorities for more than 12 months.
Department Recommendations: The Department will intensify engagement with the Peruvian authorities to address significant issues of concern and expand public diplomacy activities related to the resolution of cases. The Department will also encourage training with judicial and administrative authorities on the effective handling of international parental child abduction cases. The Department also recommends an emphasis on preventing abductions.