The U.S. State Department has now issued its 2023 Action Report on International Child Abduction.
Belize has been declared by the State Department to be noncompliant with the Hague Abduction Convention.
The State Department has reported to Congress that within the past year it has taken the following actions in this regard against Belize:
- Department officials, in Washington, DC and at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan, continued to raise concerns with the Government of Belize about Belize's demonstration of a pattern of noncompliance.
- In December 2022, officials at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan met with the Director of the Belize Central Authority (BCA) to discuss Belize's pattern of noncompliance and its obligations under the Convention, and proposed actions to improve Convention compliance.
- Also in December 2022, officials at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan attended a BCA-organized training on the Convention for BCA employees, local law enforcement, and child protective services.
- In May 2023, the U.S. Ambassador to Belize met with representatives from the Belizean judiciary, central authority, law enforcement, and legal community who were selected for an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) focused on IPCA. The group discussed objectives for the IVLP and laid the foundation for a follow-on seminar for Belizean IPCA stakeholders who did not participate in the IVLP.
- Also in May 2023, the Office of the Spokesperson released a media note to announce the release of the 2023 Annual Report on International Child Abduction and listed Belize as a country cited for demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance.
- In May 2023, the Consular Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan delivered a demarche to the Belizean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade concerning Belize's citation for demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance in the 2023 Annual Report.
- Also in May 2023, Department officials met in Washington, DC with 10 officials from the Belizean judiciary, central authority, law enforcement, and legal community to share best practices for implementing the Convention. This meeting was part of an IVLP sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan that focused on improving Belize's compliance with the Convention.
Jeremy D. Morley has provided expert evidence to courts in several U.S. states on such matters concerning Belize.