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A Law Enforcement Guide on International Parental Kidnapping

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2018
100 pages
This guide for local, state, and federal law enforcement officers instructs them in how to respond appropriately and effectively to the unlawful removal to or retention of a child in a jurisdiction outside of the United States.
The guide describes the role of a law enforcement agency as the initial responder to and investigator of such cases, and it suggests strategies for the recovery of child victims and their reunification with their legal parent/guardian, as well as the criminal investigation of the suspected offending parent. Specifically, the guide addresses the following issues: 1) the risks and effects of this problem, as well as its scope and remedies; 2) law enforcement interventions that can prevent parental kidnapping; 3) the initial law enforcement response; 4) how to stop a kidnapping in progress; 5) the continuing investigation in the United States and abroad; 6) federal resources that can aid in the investigation; 7) criminal charging options; 8) extradition; 9) child recovery mechanisms; 10) reunification with the legal parent/guardian; and 11) law enforcement liability concerns. 5 references and appended listings of important contacts, resources, and recommended readings