These children have been kidnapped for 3593 days, 4 hours

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Abduction
came into force between the United States and Brazil on December 1, 2003.

"The States signatory to the present Convention, firmly convinced that the interests of
children are of paramount importance in matters relating to their custody, desiring to
protect children internationally from the harmful effects of their wrongful removal or
retention and to establish procedures to ensure their prompt return to the State of
their habitual residence, as well as to secure protection for rights of access,
have resolved to conclude a Convention to this effect,
and have agreed upon the following provisions"

Article 1 of the Hague Convention states:
"The objects of the present Convention are - (a) to secure the prompt return of
children wrongfully removed to or retained in any Contracting State; and (b) to
ensure that rights of custody and of access under the law of one Contracting
State are effectively respected in the other Contracting States."

Article 2 of the Hague Convention states:
"Contracting States shall take all appropriate measures to secure within their
territories the implementation of the objects of the Convention. For this
purpose they shall use the most expeditious procedures available."

Read the full text of The Hague Convention

An Application for the Return of the Children was filed by the children's father
through the U.S. State Department on June 13, 2007, and was received
by the Brazilian Central Authority on July 13, 2007.

According to the Hague Convention, the children should have been returned
to Florida, USA, by August 2007. Brazil has been determined to be
non-compliant with the Hague Convention in this case.

The U.S. Department of State 2008 Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention explains the problem:

"Brazil continued to demonstrate patterns of noncompliance with the Convention in its judicial
performance. The USCA notes several instances during FY 2007 in which Brazilian courts
treated Convention cases as custody decisions, rather than applying the principles of
wrongful removal or retention laid out in the Convention. In two cases, Brazilian
judges refused returns to the United States, citing the "best interests of the child."

These decisions contradict the Convention, as the Preamble of the Convention declares that the
interest of children is attained through their return to their country of habitual residence. In
addition, the USCA notes that judges in some cases continued to demonstrate a bias towards
mothers and towards Brazilian citizens
. Further, the judicial process is excessively
, with cases going on well beyond the six weeks mandated by the Convention."

The U.S. Department of State 2009 Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention states:

"In FY 2008, Brazil demonstrated patterns of noncompliance with the Convention in the areas of
Central Authority performance and judicial performance. The Brazilian courts continue to show
a troubling trend of treating Convention cases as custody decisions, and often deny Convention
applications upon finding that the children have become "adapted to Brazilian culture."

It takes many months before a court receives a case to analyze
and many more months before a court issues a decision.

Brazil's courts exhibit widespread patterns of bias towards Brazilian mothers in Convention
cases. Brazilian courts continue to be amenable to considering evidence relevant to custody
determinations but not relevant to the criteria to be applied in a Convention case."

The U.S. Department of State 2010 Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention states:

"During the reporting period, the United States experienced continued problems with Brazil's
compliance with the Convention. As a result, the USCA finds Brazil not compliant with the
Convention in FY 2009. Continued compliance failures result from significant delays within
the Brazilian judiciary, which continued to handle applications for return under the
Convention as routine custody cases. Article 16 of the Convention specifically prohibits
judges from considering the merits of the custody dispute between the parents."

2007 Report Covert

Legal experts in international Hague proceedings consider Brazil to be a heaven
for child abductors. They call it: "State-Sponsored Child Abduction."

Message from the US Embassy in Brazil (April 24, 2009):

"Brazil and the United States have an international agreement about how to handle wrongful
retention and wrongful abduction of children from their original countries of residence:
The Hague Convention of 1980.
Both countries are obliged to make sure that this treaty is enforced.

The wrongful removal and wrongful retention of children from their homes,
and the forced separation of parent and child is unnecessary and cruel.

The United States has facilitated the return of seven children to Brazil since
The Hague treaty entered into force between our two countries. We call on
the office of the Secretary of Human Rights to support the return of all
children wrongfully removed and wrongfully retained."


CNN reports that Sean Goldman was returned to the USA because of trade sanctions
imposed by the US government against Brazil (December 24, 2009):
(Note: Brazil refused to return Sean Goldman to his father even after his mother died)

The custody battle garnered much media attention and spilled over into the political arena
as well. U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, had placed a hold on a trade bill
that would have benefited Brazil to the tune of $2.75 billion, but he lifted it after
the court's ruling, spokesman Caley Gray told CNN.

"This is not good news. This is great news." Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey.

The bill in question, which sailed through the Senate after the senator dropped the hold,
provides export tariff relief to 130 countries, of which Brazil would be the fifth largest
recipient, Gray said. Lautenberg's hold was designed to exert additional pressure on
Brazilian authorities to abide by the court order to return Sean to his father, he said.

Silvana Bianchi told CNN Wednesday it was "very sad, a country that
exchanges children for economic agreements

While the chief justice was still studying the case, Brazilian Attorney General Luis Inacio Adams
said the executive branch of Brazilian government sided with Goldman. "Once we stop
cooperating and start breaking our treaties and international obligations
Brazil risks the chance of not having its own requests in the matters regarding
international judicial help granted, based on the principle of international
reciprocity," Adams said Monday. "Not releasing the minor into the
custody of his father could bring sanctions against Brazil,"
he added.
"It could damage Brazil's image before the international community."


Brazil NEVER returns ANY abducted children under the Hague Convention

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