Country Summary: The Convention has been in force between the United States and Ecuador since 1992. In 2021, Ecuador continued to demonstrate a pattern of noncompliance. Specifically, the Ecuadorian authorities persistently failed to take all appropriate measures to locate children in a timely manner. As a result of this failure, 14 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 two years and three months. Ecuador was previously cited for demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance in the 2015-2021 Annual Reports.
Significant Developments: On July 28, 2021, the National Court of Justice passed a resolution requiring Ecuador's courts to use a summary process for Convention cases. This is Ecuador's first concrete action to improve Convention compliance since 2015. Shortly after the passage of the resolution, the Department received the first court-ordered return from Ecuador since 2018. Additionally, throughout 2021, the National Assembly Special Commission on Children's Issues led a review of Ecuador's Children's Code. These Children's Code reforms presented an opportunity for Ecuador to legislatively implement its obligations under the Convention however, the legislation remains stalled in the National Assembly.
Central Authority: The U.S. and the Ecuadorian Central Authorities have a productive relationship that facilitates the resolution of abduction cases under the Convention.
Location: The competent authorities of Ecuador failed to take appropriate steps to locate children after a Convention application was filed, which contributed to a pattern of noncompliance. The average time to locate a child was 9 months and 3 days. As of December 31, 2021, there is one case in which the Ecuadorian authorities remain unable to initially locate a child (accounting for 100% of the unresolved cases).
Judicial Authorities: Delays by the Ecuadorian judicial authorities impacted cases during 2021.
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 Ecuadorian authorities.
Department Recommendations: The Department will continue intense engagement with the Ecuadorian authorities to address issues of concern.
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