Did you know...?
Every year at least 500 children are abducted from the UK by one of their parents without the other parent’s knowledge or permission.
Libya Family Reunion
Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB) works in cases of Parental Child Abduction where the 1980 Hague Convention on Child Abduction does not apply because the children have been taken to a country which has not signed the convention.
Since 1997, CFAB has developed a special and unique project for families whose children have been abducted to Libya. With the co-operation of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Libyan Government, CFAB facilitates and supervises an annual family reunion in Libya, between the children and family members in the UK.
The cooperation between CFAB and the Libyan Ministry responsible for Child Welfare has ensured ease of access to the country and the co-operation of the fathers and families in Libya. CFAB staff provide support and counselling for the families during the visit, and on an ongoing basis between visits.
We currently support over 20 families in this situation, but anticipate an ever-increasing demand as awareness of this problem grows and enquiries increase as a direct result of the media interest we are receiving in this project area.
In the last couple of years there has been an expansion in the geographical reach of CFAB, supporting families from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Sweden and Holland, as well as the UK. Again, the expectation is that this global reach will continue to grow.
NEWS FLASH : LIBYA UPDATE!!
Our thoughts are with the children and their families in Libya and their Mother’s and relatives in the UK at this difficult time.
As far as we can determine our contacts and supporters in Libya are okay and we watch developments keenly.
At the conclusion of the current conflict we will seek to work with whichever Government emerges in Libya in order to continue our work there.
How can CFAB help?
- We have developed a contact with a family lawyer in Libya who has greatly helped us in understanding the law generally, as well as assisting legally with individual cases. We have now learnt that in Libya the hierarchy for custody starts with the mother, then her parents and family, and then the father, and then his parents and family.
- Mothers can be awarded custody but will have to be prepared to exercise this in Libya. The one case where a British mother was allowed to leave Libya with her young daughter was due to exceptional circumstances created by the father and his family behaving so unreasonably that their personal safety could no longer be guaranteed.
- For many mothers ongoing contact with their abducted children may thus be impossible, unless they receive the sort of help offered by this project. The CFAB Family Reunion Project may be the only hope they have of ever seeing their children again.
Libya is just one of many countries whose legal system does not allow for the return of a child to his/her country of usual residence following an abduction, nor does it easily facilitate ongoing relationships between both parents and the children. Many countries have not signed up to international agreements concerning child abduction, so the abduction of a child to one of these countries poses particular problems, and a resolution in law may be impossible.