The U.S. State Department has now issued its 2023 Action Report on International Child Abduction.
Ecuador has been declared by the State Department to be noncompliant with the Hague Abduction Convention for each and every year for the past eight years.
The State Department has reported to Congress that within the past year it has taken the following actions in this regard against Ecuador:
- Department officials at the U.S. Embassy in Quito continued to raise concerns with Government of Ecuador officials about Ecuador's demonstration of a pattern of noncompliance.
- During the October 2022 U.S.-Ecuador Consular and Migration Bilateral Meeting, Department officials called on the Government of Ecuador to improve coordination between the Ecuadorian Central Authority, police, and public defenders. The Government of Ecuador affirmed its commitment to an inter-institutional dialogue on IPCA.
- In November 2022, Department officials provided technical assistance to the National Court of Justice for an Ecuadorian judicial seminar on best practices in the resolution of Convention cases. The seminar included presentations by Ecuadorian Central Authority officials, public defenders, and international Convention experts, including the representative for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Hague Conference on Private International Law (Hague Permanent Bureau) and a Canadian Hague Network Judge.
- In February 2023, Department officials participated in the Government of Ecuador's first inter-institutional IPCA working group. The working group included technical experts from Ecuador's Central Authority, National Court of Justice, Judiciary Council, National Police, Public Defender's office, and the Hague Permanent Bureau.
- Over the course of multiple meetings in February and March 2023, the working group prepared a legislative reform proposal to quicken IPCA response times.
- In April 2023, the Minister of Women and Human Rights and the President of the National Court of Justice presented the working group's legislative reform package to the President of Ecuador's National Assembly as part of efforts to reform Ecuador's Children's Code and presented an administrative protocol to expedite IPCA cases.
- Since June 2022, the U.S. Central Authority has held quarterly video conferences with the Ecuadorian Central Authority, National Police, and Public Defender's Office to discuss pending IPCA cases and strategies to improve Convention implementation in Ecuador.
- 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 Ecuador as a country cited for demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance.
- Also in May 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Quito delivered a demarche to the Ministry of Women and Human Rights. The Department noted that Ecuador has been cited for demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance in the 2023 Annual Report.
- Specifically, the judicial authorities failed to regularly implement and comply with the provisions of the Convention, and Ecuadorian authorities failed to take all appropriate measures to locate children in a timely manner.
Jeremy D. Morley has provided expert evidence to courts in several U.S. states on such matters concerning Ecuador.