Victim Reunification Travel Program: Addressing International Parental Child Abduction Cases
OVC supports a Victim Reunification Travel Program to assist left-behind parents in cases of international child abduction. The program serves crime victims by working to return children from overseas who are victims of international parental abduction. The International Parental Kidnapping Act of 1993 codified at 18 U.S.C. 1204 makes international parental kidnapping a federal felony offense and authorizes criminal fines or prison terms for anyone who illegally removes a child from the United States or unlawfully retains a visiting child in a foreign country. Support under this program is provided via an intra-agency authorization with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and a grant with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). OVC has provided funding for this project since Fiscal Year 1997.
OVC provides support to the parents who are left behind, including payment for transportation services required to attend a court proceeding with the child, translation of documents related to court hearings and the reunification process, and counseling support to prepare the parents for reunification and minimize the trauma for the child. In FY 2006, OVC facilitated travel for left-behind parents in recovering 27 children. The program is funded and monitored by OVC's Terrorism and International Victim Assistance Services Division. For additional reading about international parental abduction of children, visit NCMEC.