Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 114 Part 6.djvu/124

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114 STAT. 3180 CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS-JUNE 23, 2000 Whereas some contracting states, for example Germany, routinely invoke article 13 as a justification for nonreturn, rather than resorting to it in a small number of wholly exceptional cases; Whereas the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the only institution of its kind, was established in the United States for the purpose of assisting parents in recovering their missing children; Whereas article 21 of the Hague Convention provides that the central authorities of all parties to the Convention are obligated to cooperate with each other in order to promote the peaceful enjoyment of parental access rights and the fulfillment of any conditions to which the exercise of such rights may be subject, and to remove, as far as possible, all obstacles to the exercise of such rights; Whereas some contracting states fail to order or enforce normal visitation rights for parents of abducted or wrongfully retained children who have not been returned under the terms of the Hague Convention; and Whereas the routine invocation of the article 13 exception, denial of parental visitation of children, and the failure by several contracting parties, most notably Austria, Germany, Honduras, Mexico, and Sweden, to fully implement the Convention deprives the Hague Convention of the spirit of mutual confidence upon which its success depends: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress urges— (1) all contracting parties to the Hague Convention, particularly European civil law countries that consistently violate the Hague Convention such as Austria, Germany and Sweden, to comply fully with both the letter and spirit of their international legal obligations under the Convention; (2) all contracting parties to the Hague Convention to ensure their compliance with the Hague Convention by enacting effective implementing legislation and educating their judicisJ and law enforcement authorities; (3) all contracting parties to the Hague Convention to honor their commitments and return abducted or wrongfully retained children to their place of habitual residence without reaching the merits of any underlying custody dispute and ensure parental access rights by removing obstacles to the exercise of such rights; (4) the Secretary of State to disseminate to all Federal and State courts the Department of State's annual report to Congress on Hague Convention compliance and related matters; and (5) each contracting party to the Hague Convention to further educate its central authority and local law enforcement authorities regarding the Hague Convention, the severity of the problem of international child abduction, and the need for immediate action when a parent of an abducted child seeks their assistance. Agreed to June 23, 2000.