Egypt & Child Abduction: 2016 State Department Report

From the State Department's 2016 Compliance Report:

Egypt demonstrated a pattern of noncompliance in 2015 because 30 percent or more of the total abduction cases are unresolved abduction cases as defined by the Act.

The Egyptian government worked closely with the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to help left-behind parents obtain access to their children. It also facilitated voluntary agreements between parents to return abducted children. While Egypt and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Consular Cooperation in Cases Concerning Parental Access to Children in 2003, this Memorandum does not address the resolution of abduction matters and thus does not meet the Act's definition of bilateral procedures. Egypt has no other procedures in place for returning abducted children and therefore does not adhere to any protocols with respect to international parental child abduction, as described in the Act.

During 2015, the Department had 25 reported abductions to Egypt relating to children whose habitual residence is the United States. Of those, nine were newly reported during the calendar year.

In 2015, 20 applications for return that the Department had submitted to Egypt were pending; the Department submitted eight of these applications during 2015. By December 31, 2015, two cases with pending applications (10 percent of cases open during 2015) had been resolved, as defined by the Act: one was resolved by a voluntary agreement between the parents that resulted in the child returning to the United States; the other was resolved when the left-behind parent did not pursue the return any further. Three other cases closed prior to submission of applications for return. By December 31, 2015, 20 reported abductions remained open.

At the end of 2015, ten cases (50 percent of cases open during 2015) were unresolved. A case is considered "unresolved" under the Act if it remains pending for twelve months after the Department submits an application for return or access to an appropriate authority in Egypt. There were no unresolved abduction cases in which law enforcement authorities failed to locate a child, failed to undertake serious efforts to locate a child, or failed to enforce a return order rendered by the judicial or administrative authorities of Egypt. The average time it takes to locate a child is unknown.

To improve the resolution of international parental child abduction cases in Egypt, the Department recommends continued engagement between the Department of State and Egyptian government officials to encourage Egypt to become party to the Convention and to establish other protocols or procedures for resolving international parental child abduction cases.

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