Belize: State Department's Annual Report on International Child Abduction, 2024

Posted by Jeremy Morley | Apr 30, 2024 | 0 Comments

Summary: The Convention has been in force between the United States and Belize since 1989. In 2023, Belize continued to demonstrate a pattern of
noncompliance. Specifically, the judicial authorities failed to regularly implement and comply with the provisions of the Convention. As a result of this failure, 50 percent of requests for the return of abducted children under the Convention remained unresolved for more than 12 months. Belize was previously cited for demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance in the 2022- 2023 Annual Reports.

Initial Inquiries: In 2023, the Department received two initial inquiries from parents regarding possible abductions to Belize for which no completed applications were submitted to the Department.

Significant Developments: In 2023, The Special Advisor for Children's Issues met with the Belizean Central Authority and Belize's Hague Network Judge
to improve training efforts and encourage Belize to increase resources for IPCA response.

Central Authority: The United States and the Belizean Central Authorities have a strong and productive relationship that facilitates the resolution of abduction cases under the Convention.

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 2023, one abduction case was resolved through voluntary means.

Location: The competent authorities took appropriate steps to locate children after a Convention application was filed. The average time to locate a child was 14 days. As of December 31, 2023, there were no cases where the Belizean authorities remained unable to initially locate a child.

Judicial Authorities: Delays by the Belizean judicial authorities impacted a case during 2023. As a result of these delays, one case has been pending
with the judiciary for four years, contributing to a pattern of noncompliance.

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 Belizean authorities.

Department Recommendations: The Department will continue intense engagement with the Belizean authorities to address issues of concern.

About the Author

Jeremy Morley

Jeremy D. Morley was admitted to the New York Bar in 1975 and concentrates on international family law. His firm works with clients around the world from its New York office, with a global network of local counsel. Mr. Morley is the author of "International Family Law Practice,...


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