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

Posted by Jeremy Morley | Apr 26, 2024 | 0 Comments

The U.S. State Department has now issued its 2024 Annual Report on International Child Abduction.

Summary: The Convention has been in force between the United States and Argentina since 1991. In 2023, Argentina continued to demonstrate a pattern of noncompliance. Specifically, the Argentine 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. Argentina was previously cited for demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance in the 2015-2023 Annual Reports.

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

Significant Developments: No abduction cases resolved during the reporting year. A new case filed with the Argentine judiciary in 2023 remained pending a first-instance decision for more than four months. In 2023, Argentina hosted a nationwide seminar on international legal cooperation, which included the Hague Abduction Convention. However, there were delays within the Argentine judiciary in more than one case still unresolved in 2023, contributing to a pattern of noncompliance. One of the two abduction cases still open at the end of the year has been unresolved in the Argentine judiciary for 13 years and six months, the Department's longest unresolved Convention case in the world.

Additionally, Argentine officials again did not submit a revised national procedural bill—reportedly designed to address Argentina's judicial delays in Convention cases—to the Argentine legislature. Argentine national elections at the end of the reporting period resulted in a change in administration. Consistent with the Department's experience on this issue, the turnover in political leadership within key government ministries likely means the draft law will be further delayed as the new administration reviews the text in accordance with their policy priorities. The Department is concerned that unless Argentina employs additional measures, such as legislation that would expedite the court process, abduction cases could continue to be delayed in the country's judiciary.

Central Authority: The U.S. and the Argentine Central Authorities have a strong and productive relationship despite the challenges.

Location: The competent authorities took appropriate steps to locate a child after a Convention application was filed. It took 10 days to locate this child.

Judicial Authorities: An unresolved case was impacted by delays. As a result, cases may be pending with the judiciary for more than one year.

Enforcement: A case remains unresolved for more than 13 years, and Argentine courts have suspended an order that said the child should return
in 2017. Additionally, Argentina's legal system allows multiple appeals both on the merits of the decision and on how the decisions are enforced,
thereby creating excessive delays which contribute to a pattern of noncompliance.

Access: In 2023, the U.S. Central Authority acted on a total of three open access cases (involving three children) under the Convention in Argentina. Of these, one case (involving one child) was opened and filed with the Argentine Central Authority in 2023, while the other two had been filed in previous years (2018 and 2022, respectively). By December 31, 2023, one case (involving one child) had been resolved and two cases (involving two children) remained open. One of the remaining open access cases (involving one child) has been pending with the Argentine authorities for more than 12 months.

Department Recommendations: The Department will continue intense engagement with Argentine 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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