The U.S. State Department has recently released their annual report on International Child Abduction. Below is our fourth post in a series here focusing on the nine countries classified as “demonstrating patterns of noncompliance.” Today's country is Egypt.
Country Summary: Egypt does not adhere to any protocols with respect to international parental child abduction. In 2003, the United States and Egypt signed a Memorandum of Understanding to encourage voluntary resolution of abduction cases and facilitate consular access to abducted children. In 2018, Egypt demonstrated a pattern of noncompliance. Specifically, the competent authorities in Egypt persistently failed to work with the Department of State to resolve abduction cases. As a result of this failure, 91 percent of requests for the return of abducted children remained unresolved for more than 12 months. On average, these cases were unresolved for three years and nine months. Egypt was previously cited for demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance in the 2015 and 2016 Annual Reports.
Initial Inquiries: In 2018, the Department received one initial inquiry from a parent regarding a possible abduction to Egypt for which no additional assistance was requested or necessary documentation was not received as of December 31, 2018.
Central Authority: In 2018, the competent authorities in Egypt worked closely with the United States to discuss ways to improve the resolution of pending abduction cases. However, the competent authorities have failed to resolve cases due to a lack of viable legal options, which contributed to a pattern of noncompliance.
Voluntary Resolution: In 2018, two abduction cases were resolved through voluntary means.
Location: The competent authorities of Egypt failed to take appropriate steps to locate a child after the United States submitted a request for assistance, which contributed to a pattern of noncompliance. As of December 31, 2018, there is one case (accounting for ten percent of the unresolved cases) where the Egyptian authorities remain unable to initially locate a child.
Judicial Authorities: There is no clear legal procedure for addressing international parental child abduction cases under Egyptian law, and parents face difficulties resolving custody disputes in local courts.
Enforcement: A judicial decision in Egypt was not enforced in one case, which contributed to a pattern of noncompliance. This case (accounting for 10 percent of the unresolved cases) has been pending for more than 12 months.
Department Recommendations: The Department will continue to encourage Egypt to ratify the Convention.