The U.S. State Department has recently released their annual report on International Child Abduction. Below is our eleventh post in a series here focusing on the twelve countries classified as “demonstrating patterns of noncompliance.” Today's country is Peru.
Country Summary: The Hague Abduction Convention has been in force between the United States and Peru since 2007. In 2017, Peru demonstrated a pattern of noncompliance. Specifically, Peru's judicial branch regularly fails to implement and comply with the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention. As a result of this failure, 36 percent of requests for the return of abducted children under the Convention remained unresolved for more than 12 months. On average these cases were unresolved for one year and 11 months.
Initial Inquiries: In 2017, the Department received four initial inquiries from parents regarding possible abductions to Peru where no completed applications were submitted to the Department.
Significant Developments: In the last year the Peruvian Central Authority (PCA) has expressed interest in additional support and training for the judges in Peru. The Office of Children's Issues is working with the PCA to find ways to reduce judicial delays in Hague Convention Cases. In October 2017, members of the Central Authority, and judiciary visited the United States on a two-week child abduction-focused International Visitor Leadership Program.
Central Authority: The United States and the Peruvian Central Authorities have a strong and productive relationship that facilitates the resolution of abduction cases under the Convention. The PCA gives the United States regular updates on all open cases, and conducts a bi-monthly conference call with the U.S. Central Authority. The PCA is quick to respond to questions or concerns on cases.
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 2017, two abduction cases were resolved through voluntary means.
Location: The competent authorities regularly took appropriate steps to locate children after a Convention application was filed. The average time to locate a child was 30 days.
Judicial Authorities: The Peruvian judicial authorities demonstrated a pattern of noncompliance with the Convention due to serious delays in deciding Convention cases. As a result of these delays, cases may be pending with the judiciary for over one year. In addition, there was a strike by administrative workers in the judicial system during the year, further slowing the scheduling of hearings.
Enforcement: The United States is not aware of any abduction cases in which a judicial decision ordered under the Convention needed to be enforced by the Peruvian authorities.
Department Recommendations: The Department will continue intense engagement with the Peruvian authorities to address issues of concern and expand public diplomacy activities related to the resolution of cases.
Access: In 2017, the U.S. Central Authority had one open access case under the Convention in Peru. By December 31, 2017, this case (100 percent) had been resolved.