child abduction

Japan Ratifies 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention

(January 24th, 2014)

rat28jp1 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention; a few hours later, the Japanese Ambassador to the Netherlands, Mr. Masaru Tsuji, deposited the instrument of ratification, making Japan the 91st Contracting State to this important treaty. This significant development reaffirms that diplomatic efforts among the international community, together with the invaluable assistance provided by the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, are working; it also reaffirms that the Hague Child Abduction Convention is the proper mechanism for all governments and families around the world to utilize in order to settle international child abduction disputes.

Unknown-1Japan’s ratification of the Convention comes after long-standing multi-lateral diplomatic efforts combined with global public outcry over Japan’s previous failure to participate in the international child abduction treaty and to offer victimized children and targeted parents of abduction a vehicle to turn to in order to resolve international parental child abduction disputes.

The 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention will enter into force for Japan on April 1st, 2014. Under Japan’s participation, foreign parents who have previously had a child internationally abducted to Japan are not eligible to file a Hague Application or utilize the treaty. Retroactivity remains a concern for hundreds of left-behind parents still seeking to reunite with their kidnapped children.

The 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention seeks to combat parental child abduction by providing a system of co-operation between Contracting States and a rapid procedure for the return of the child to the country of the child’s habitual residence. Judges overseeing litigation revolving around the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention are not to determine issues of custody as that issue typically falls under the jurisdiction of the courts located in the child’s country of habitual residency.

Japan’s ratification of the convention demonstrates that international diplomacy and education continues to work, while also creating a stronger atmosphere for other countries that are not participants to the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention, such as India, to strongly consider ratification.

rat28jpIn the past, Japan has been considered a ‘black hole’ for international parental child abductors as the overwhelming number of children abducted to Japan by a Japanese national living abroad have not been returned to the child’s country of original jurisdiction.

The vast majority of left-behind parents are fathers residing in Europe and North America. Tragically, the targeted parent often has little or no rights of access or custody to their child once the child lands in Japan due to the country’s antiquated and prejudicial family law policies that tend to grant a child’s mother sole custody of the child while simultaneously removing the child’s father’s access to the child. Japan’s legal system does not recognize the concept of joint-custody.

In May 2013, the Diet had approved Japan’s compliance to the treaty, sending out a clear indicator that the country was steadily moving toward participation. Until today, Japan was the only country in the Group of Eight (G8) that has not affirmed the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention.

The following month (June) Japan’s Parliament enacted a law stipulating domestic implementation procedures for the Hague child abduction treaty.

Japan’s Parliament established procedures requiring the country to create a Central Authority under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry. The Central Authority’s responsibilities include the tasks of locating children who have been abducted and encourage families involved in international parental child abduction claims to settle disputes through consultations.

If the consultations fail, family courts in Tokyo and Osaka specifically trained in 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention matters will decide on matters. The Central Authority will be staffed with legal experts in international private law as well child psychologist and domestic violence counselors. A third Hague Court location could later be added.

Under the terms of Japan’s Parliamentary action in June, 2013 the new law provides grounds forrefusal to return a child if abuse or domestic violence is feared, issues that are expected to draw keen interest in light of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention’s Article 13, a provision that is almost always utilized by parental child abductors regardless of the gender of the abductor.

Child abduction prevention advocates from around the world hope that Japan’s ratification of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention will further push non-Hague countries including India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Philippines, and China (mainland) who are all believed to be actively assessing the Convention with a view to becoming a party to.

Today Japan has taken its place at the table of nations and finally a stand against the atrocity of international parental child abduction and severe abuse against targeted children and their families.  As Japan works to uphold the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention we must first and foremost not forget the children who have been abducted to Japan and their left-behind families, many whom successfully advocated for Japan’s ratification of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention.

We invite you to read the official comments shared by The Hague Permanent Bureau concerning diplomacy and Japan’s ratification. Please click here.


To visit the I CARE Foundation official website, please click here. 


U.S. Senate Resolution 543 Condemns International Parental Child Abduction

On the evening of December 4th 2012, U.S. Senators unanimously took a stand against international parental child abduction.  This is a big day for those of us that devote our lives to advocating for those innocent children that are targets of international child abduction.

The I CARE Foundation is pleased to share that U.S. Senator Barbara Boxter’s International Parental Child Abduction Resolution (Senate Resolution 543) first introduced to the Senate on August 2nd, 2012 passed unanimously yesterday, December 4th, 2012 a Senate vote. Previously, Senator Boxter stated before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Business Meeting presided over Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) that, “The International Parental Child Abduction Resolution condemns the abduction of a child by one parent to another country. It also calls on our nation and the international community to do more to resolve current and future abduction cases.” Senator Boxter also stated she “Introduced this resolution to help shine a light on child abduction and to urge immediate and sustained action to address it.”

Senator Boxter’s comments made before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unequivocally shed light as to the great difficulties targeted children and parents face.  Senator Boxter, a known child advocate stated before Senator Kerry’s Foreign Relations Committee that, “The resolution (Senate 543) condemns the abduction of a child by one parent to another country. It also calls on our nation and the international community to do more to resolve current and future abduction cases. By approving this resolution, we are sending a clear, bipartisan message that the United States Senate stands united in its condemnation of child abduction and its commitment to help end this injustice.”

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a Senate Resolution 543 by a voice vote yesterday. Impressively, the resolution garnered 28 original cosponsors, and is a clear indication that the voices of the community of activists are reaching the halls of our nation’s Capitol.

Senate Resolution 543 reinforces several critical issues that are expected to come to the aid of targeted children and parents, as is discussed in a step-by-step summary analysis provided below.  However, on the surface, and with great light on the subject needed, Resolution 543 names Japan, India and Egypt as the worst offenders in the kidnappings of children from the United States to countries abroad.

Equally importantly, Senate Resolution 543 calls for several critical actions to be taken that will open up new avenues of child protection.  Specifically, Senator Boxter’s resolution calls for the immediate review of the protocols previously established by the United States Congress when our lawmakers agreed to become a signatory member of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction.  Specifically, Senate Resolution 543 (Article 2) (Section II) (Part E) states:

(E) review the advisory services made available to United States citizens by the United States Department of State, the United States Department of Justice, and other United States Government agencies—

(i) to improve the prevention of international parental child abduction from the United States; and

(ii) to ensure that effective and timely assistance is provided to United States citizens who are parents of children abducted from the United States and taken to foreign countries.

What (Article 2) (Section II) (Part E) (iI) makes it clear that:

A review of Congress’ existing declaration when it annexed the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction whereas it declined to financially assist targeted parents who have had their child criminally kidnapped (International Kidnapping Crimes Act) reunite with their children.According to an I CARE Foundation recent study,  parents who have their children internationally abducted face severe and overwhelming costs in attempting to reunite with their kidnapped children, and the financial costs and economic impact on the U.S. economy over the next 10 years is expected to reach over 5 Billion U.S. Dollars.   Clearly the resolution’s (2)(E)(ii) is specifying that the United States government must “ensure that effective and timely assistance is provided to Untied States citizens” who have their children kidnapped – and this means financial assistance that may be required to locate an internationally kidnapped child, financial assistance for litigation expenses and any activity associated with a child’s recovery, including reunification assistance.  How important is this?  Enormous, particularly when we must consider that many of targeted parents fail to reunite with their abducted child because the stealing parent knows that so long as they can financially drain the other parent’s resources, and tie up the litigation into a long process, they should be successful in achieving their criminal act of abduction.  Should this portion of the Senate’s resolution be upheld, not only will it change the ability of a targeted parent to protect their child, but it will alter the dynamics of an abductor’s litigation strategy because they will not be able to financially drain the targeted parent.

Equally important, (Article 2) (Section II) (Part E) does something that could potentially make the greatest difference of all aspects of the resolution.  Specifically, the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues (OCI), which I believe is made up of some of the most dedicated and caring child advocates on the planet, presently have extreme limitations on what it can and cannot do to assist American parents who have had their child abducted.  Which leads to great frustration by the nation’s citizens who turn to OCI for assistance.By calling to “review the advisory services made available to United States citizens by the United States Department of State, the United States Department of Justice, and other United States Government agencies”, the Senate Resolution 543 is not only clearly identifying but acknowledging that the existing agencies charged with protecting our nation’s children need to be overhauled in that there is a need to provide OCI with more power to act on behalf of kidnapped children.  Surely, when this definitive review is conducted, there will be a clear disposition that OCI is underfunded, understaffed, and given limited power, which means as part of the Department of State, it is underutilized.

(Article 2) (Section II) (Part E) importantly states since international parental child abduction is a federal criminal act of kidnapping – this is not a child custody disagreement but a brutal act against a child – that review of existing protocols on how our national law enforcement agency may assist a targeted parent who has had a child abducted.

This section of Senate Resolution 543 is critical because today, and in the past, the vast majority of parental child kidnappers did not fear any retribution for the scheming, abusive, and destructive criminal act of cross-border abduction.  Without concern that they would be held accountable for their act, and with the financial playing field heavily tilted in their favor, there has been a sharp increase of child abductions that could see as many as 100,000 to 125,000 American children abducted abroad if we consider the current number of reported cases of abduction, the forecasted number of unreported cases of abduction, the growth rate of abduction, and underlying conditions such as immigration migration to the United States as well as general population growth as factors.

Critically supporting (Article 2) (Section II) (Part E) is (Article 2) (Section II) (Part A), whereas the resolution calls for:

(A)   Vigorously pursue the return of each child abducted by a parent from the United States to another country through all appropriate means, facilitate access by the left-behind parent if the child is not returned, and, where appropriate, seek the extradition of the parent that abducted the child.

Did you notice the key words, “Vigorously pursue the return of each child abducted by a parent from the United States?”

This is clearly indicating that the United States Senate is sending a message that children will no longer be considered collateral political damage and that the United States government will protect and defend its defenseless, innocent children who are kidnapped and held hostage overseas.


By seeking “the extradition of the parent that abducted the child.”

As previously stated, parental child abductors have little concern that their actions will be prosecuted even though the acts of international parental child abduction violates federal laws including criminal codes on kidnapping, and, at times, laws prohibiting the aiding and abetting of a fugitive.  In addition, a state’s laws on abduction are also violated, as well as criminal codes of child abuse and child neglect.  Of course contempt of court and perjury are rampant in these cases, and are punishable by contempt of court charges.

However, now it is clear that a parent can and should seek criminal remedy in conjunction with civil remedy available to them under the Hague Convention.

For a long time now, child abduction prevention advocates and chasing parents have all shared a very important message: by having an arrest warrant issued against a child abductor, by extraditing the abductor on kidnapping charges, by prosecuting abductors, and by having them sentenced, a strong message that will serve as a deterrent against abduction will be issued, and many would-be abductors will think carefully before they abuse their child.

Extradition means in many cases that in the simplest terms an abductor will have limited ability to hide under the rules of law of another nation.  Granted, part of the challenge is that each country has its own rules as to what type of crime it will allow extradition of; however, the underpinnings of Senate Resolution 543 is to use diplomacy that enables the laws of a child’s country of original jurisdiction to allow the child’s custodial parent the ability of protecting their child.

Obviously, it is critical that international parental child abduction occurs.  Which means new abduction prevention laws must be created while certain existing policies must be modified.  Clearly, new laws and policy modifications that occur will become worthless if judges presiding over courts of jurisdiction of a targeted child do not enforce the laws they are governed to uphold. Furthermore, it must become a mandatory policy for each child protective agency to develop a special division of trained personnel familiar with international parental child abduction in order to protect a child from abuse, including the common-place false claims made by a taking parent against a targeted parent.

Over the past 15 years the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, funded a study on child abduction murder cases. The number of cases of filicide – the murder of a child by one of their parents – was alarming.   A recent report issued by the I CARE Foundation provides acute insight as to the grave risk of murder associated with international child abduction cases.

Perhaps shedding light as to just how important Senate Resolution 543 is are the comments of Mr. Joel Walter,Esq., a Board of Director of the I CARE Foundation when he shared his insight on parental child abduction and the threat of parental child murder. “Once removed from their home, the child becomes a hostage who is put into more danger than being alienated from their other parent and family, being forced to live the life as a fugitive, having their identity stripped away – no, there is much more at risk than all of this: there is the risk that filicide – the murder of a child at the hands of one of their parents – will occur. And this is the reality that we all keep in the forefront of our thoughts: child abductors have demonstrated their cleverness and willingness to scheme and break the law as exhibited by their criminal act of kidnapping, the vast majority of abductors kidnap their child because they have lost control of their emotions and use the child as a pawn for revenge against the other parent and are willing to go to nearly any length to cause pain and suffering to their target, even if it is at the expense of their own child, and conceivably, as has been demonstrated in various forms and ways as exhibited by the number of filicide cases, a parental child abductor could murder their own child as the ultimate act of revenge – especially when a child’s return to their country of original jurisdiction has been ordered or is imminent.”

For targeted parents who have had their children abducted to countries such as Japan, India, and Egypt, who are not members of the Hague Abduction Convention, Senate Resolution 543 made it clear that the United States legislative branch no longer is willing to sit idle while American children are kidnapped or illegally detained abroad while laws in their country and courts that oversee these laws do nothing to uphold the legitimate claims of law based upon a child’s original jurisdiction and the prevailing laws and court orders issued from such jurisdiction.

A portion of the preamble of Senate Resolution 543 reads:

Whereas Japan, India, and Egypt are not parties to the Hague Abduction Convention and were also among the top 10 countries to which children in the United States were most frequently abducted in 2011;

Whereas, in many countries, such as Japan and India, international parental child abduction is not considered a crime, and custody rulings made by courts in the United States are not typically recognized by courts in those countries; and

Whereas Japan is the only member of the Group of 7 major industrialized countries that has not yet become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention: Now, therefore, be it –

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) sponsored Senate Resolution 543, which garnered 28 original cosponsors and passed the Senate by voice vote Tuesday evening. Senator Boxer has been the Congressional leader on this issue since 2006, consistently raising legislative awareness. The renown child advocate Senator Boxter said, “I am so proud that today (Tuesday evening, December 4th, 2012) the Senate took a stand to condemn the tragic and devastating crime of child abduction,” Senator Boxer said. “This resolution is a resounding call to the international community to join together to prevent and resolve abduction cases.”

Sentiment from several key United States Senators demonstrates a reshaping of Congress’ view on international parental child abduction with an intent to act.

“International child abduction is a tragic situation that impacts not only the parents who are left behind but also the children who have been illegally separated from them and denied any contact,” Senator Lugar said. “Bringing greater attention to this issue is important if we are to change other governments’ attitudes to these abductions.”

Senator Inhofe said,  “Unfortunately, some countries around the world are complicit in allowing these unacceptable acts.  The heart wrenching stories I have heard from parents is not just devastating for them, but destructive for the children.  It is time for the Senate to act in a way that will help end this injustice.  This well written measure is a high priority.  I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join in this effort.”

“International child abductions aren’t faceless crimes, they’re real and they’re tragic,” Senator Kerry said. “The United States must condemn international abductions and work to resolve them.  The international community must stand up and do all it can to make this right.”

New Jersey Senator Lautenberg said, “We need to gain the support of countries around the world in condemning this practice and agreeing to cooperate in the return of abducted children. This resolution will help us prevent these tragedies in the future.”

So now where do we go?

Well, obviously Senate Resolution 543 clearly indicates that the way our government, courts, and law enforcement handle international parental child abduction is not enough.  More – much more must be done as international child kidnapping spreads.

Prevention of abduction is critical.  This means that judges presiding over cases of abduction risk or act must become fully aware of the laws they oversee as well as the seriousness of this crime against children.  Education is critical.

The United States Senate has shared a very strong message: international parental child abduction is not a child custody case: it is criminal kidnapping, and it must be treated as such.

In addition, we need new laws that will help prevent abduction.  Two immediate legislative initiatives the I CARE Foundation is currently working on is to:

  1. Create a secondary secure screening list so that individuals possessing a right of U.S. citizenship and who are determined by courts or law enforcement to be high-risk child abductors  may be vetted prior to travel to ensure they are not abducting a child. This proposal is similar to the current Prevent Departure Program, which presently only permits the listing of individuals onto a secure screening list that do not possess a right of U.S. citizenship and who are in the United States.
  2. Under the current Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Policy, American children are permitted to travel outside of the country by land or sea to adjoining nations such as Mexico, Canada, and certain Caribbean-Island nations by presenting only a photocopy of a naturalization document such as a photocopy of a birth certificate.  We call upon the mandatory use of valid passports for all children entering into or traveling from the United States.

Obviously, bolstering the Office of Children’s Issues resources and capability are critical.  And using direct and ongoing diplomatic efforts to bring countries to the table of the Hague Abduction Convention, and ensuring that they comply with the treaty are also critical.

Senator Boxter’s Senate Resolution 543 Cosponsors was a bipartisan effort and included Senators Feinstein, Blumenthal, Rubio, Durbin, Kirk, Lugar, Moran, Roberts, Landrieu, Kerry, Cardin, Mikulski, Blunt, Lautenberg, Menendez, Gillibrand, Inhofe, Merkley, Wyden, Casey, Toomey, Reed, Whitehouse, Johnson, Hutchinson, Leahy, Cantwell, and Murray.

We applaud and thank Senator Boxter and all the Senators who passed Resolution 543 yesterday.  This is a major step in the right direction toward protecting our nation’s children, and equally, in doing so, sending a message to other nations that they too, must protect their child citizens.

We do take note that the statistical numbers of the number of cases of abduction cited in the legislative resolution are not accurate in that the cited 2011 numbers reflect the number of reported abductions that occurred in the year 2010.  We also take note that it is believe that the number of unreported cases of international parental child abduction are between 100% and 125% of the reported cases of abduction.  Finally, we believe that it is important to note that to state that international parental child abduction is on the aggregate rise of over 25% per year from the last known cited reporting years of 2006 through 2010.  The represented number of abduction cases in the senate resolution demonstrates that there is a critical need for more current research and shared updated information concerning just how severe international child abduction is today.Again, we are thankful for everyone’s efforts in making Senate Resolution 543 a reality.

The full text of Senate Resolution 543 is below.


Whereas international parental child abduction is a tragic and common occurrence;

Whereas the abduction of a child by one parent is a heartbreaking loss for the left-behind parent and deprives the child of a relationship with 2 loving parents;

Whereas, according to the Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction of the United States Department of State from April 2010, research shows that abducted children are at risk of significant short and long-term problems, including “anxiety, eating problems, nightmares, mood swings, sleep disturbances, [and] aggressive behavior”;

Whereas, according to that report, left-behind parents may also experience substantial psychological and emotional issues, including feelings of “betrayal, sadness over the loss of their children or the end of their marriage, anger toward the other parent, anxiety, sleeplessness, and severe depression”, as well as financial strain while fighting for the return of a child;

Whereas, since 1988, the United States, which has a treaty relationship under the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at The Hague October 25, 1980 (TIAS 11670) (referred to in this preamble as the “Hague Abduction Convention’’) with 69 other countries, has agreed with its treaty partners to follow the terms of the Hague Abduction Convention;

Whereas the Hague Abduction Convention provides a legal framework for securing the prompt return of wrongfully removed or retained children to the countries of their habitual residence where competent courts can make decisions on issues of custody and the best interests of the children;

Whereas, according to the United States Department of State, the number of new cases of international child abduction from the United States increased from 579 in 2006 to 941 in 2011;

Whereas, in 2011, those 941 cases involved 1,367 children who were reported abducted from the United States by a parent and taken to a foreign country;

Whereas, in 2011, more than 660 children who were abducted from the United States and taken to a foreign country were returned to the United States;

Whereas 7 of the top 10 countries to which children from the United States were most frequently abducted in 2011 are parties to the Hague Abduction Convention, including Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ecuador, Brazil, and Colombia;

Whereas Japan, India, and Egypt are not parties to the Hague Abduction Convention and were also among the top 10 countries to which children in the United States were most frequently abducted in 2011;

Whereas, in many countries, such as Japan and India, international parental child abduction is not considered a crime, and custody rulings made by courts in the United States are not typically recognized by courts in those countries; and

Whereas Japan is the only member of the Group of 7 major industrialized countries that has not yet become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That—

(1) the Senate—

(A) condemns the international abduction of all children;

(B) urges countries identified by the United States Department of State as non-compliant or demonstrating patterns of noncompliance with the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at The Hague October 25, 1980 (TIAS 11670) (referred to in this resolution as the “Hague Abduction Convention”) to fulfill their commitment under international law to expeditiously implement the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention;

(C) calls on all countries to become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention and to promptly institute measures to equitably and transparently address cases of international parental child abduction; and

(D) calls on all countries that have not become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention to develop a mechanism for the resolution of current and future cases of international parental child abduction that occur before those countries become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention in order to facilitate the prompt return of children abducted to those countries to the children’s countries of habitual residence; and

(2) it is the sense of the Senate that the United States should—

(A) vigorously pursue the return of each child abducted by a parent from the United States to another country through all appropriate means, facilitate access by the left-behind parent if the child is not returned, and, where appropriate, seek the extradition of the parent that abducted the child;

(B) take all appropriate measures to ensure that a child abducted to a country that is a party to the Hague Abduction Convention is returned to the country of habitual residence of the child in compliance with the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention;

(C) continue to use diplomacy to encourage other countries to become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention and to take the necessary steps to effectively fulfill their responsibilities under the Hague Abduction Convention;

(D) use diplomacy to encourage countries that have not become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention to develop an institutionalized mechanism to transparently and expeditiously resolve current and future cases of international child abduction that occur before those countries become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention; and

(E) review the advisory services made available to United States citizens by the United States Department of State, the United States Department of Justice, and other United States Government agencies—

(i) to improve the prevention of international parental child abduction from the United States; and

(ii) to ensure that effective and timely assistance is provided to United States citizens who are parents of children abducted from the United States and taken to foreign countries.

For more information on international parental child abduction, please click here.

Thank you –
Peter Thomas Senese
Founding Director
The I CARE Foundation

A Book a Day Reviews Raves About Peter Thomas Senese’s ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ As A Journey into Hell

 I am so grateful and pleased with the spectacular review A Book A Day Reviews shared with its readers about Chasing The Cyclone. The review is highly informative, shows a strong grasp of the issues I tried to raise in Chasing The Cyclone, and hopefully will help others understand that there is a global epidemic of child abduction going on. Any author would love to have a review such as the one provided by A Book A Day Reviews. 

Thank you Gabriella Wheeler for really taking the time to read and share all that is Chasing The Cyclone. 

Please feel free to read this thoughtful review:  A Book a Day Reviews: A Journey into Hell: “Chasing the Cyclone”

Peter Thomas Senese: After Facing Down Storms Of International Child Abduction, Best-Selling Author’s CHASING THE CYCLONE Mesmerizes Critics

Novelist Peter Thomas Senese was extraordinarily busy with his career until he was unexpectedly forced to race into the unthinkable nightmare known as international parental child abduction. Inspired by the writer’s experiences, the novel CHASING THE CYCLONE has been critically hailed as a fast-paced, educational mystery and legal thriller, and Peter Senese as a masterful storyteller. Since this time, the author has become an outspoken advocate of child abduction prevention, and has created an arsenal of tools that have helped at-risk parents.

(PRWEB) November 22, 2011

Peter Thomas Senese’s novel “Chasing The Cyclone” has been hailed as a masterful international legal thriller that enraptures readers into the dark and incomprehensible world of global parental child abduction. Inspired by the best-selling author’s own experiences racing into the storms of child abduction, critics and readers alike have called “Chasing The Cyclone” a Call-To-Arms against this worldwide epidemic, and Peter Thomas Senese as a master storyteller. “Chasing The Cyclone” will be released on December 1st, 2011 in hardcover and is now available via E-book from online merchants.

Added Peter Thomas Senese, “Chasing The Cyclone” is an entertaining book that puts the reader on a roller-coaster of emotions – which is most targeted parents of abduction experience. In fact, I have had more than one reviewer write to me and tell me that while in the midst of reading this novel, they actually physically threw the book due to pure frustration over the story’s protagonist’s unthinkable experiences while fighting to find and reunite with his son, only to immediately pick up the book and continue reading – only to want to throw the book again. But that’s just it – for parents who are targets of abduction, many enter into an insane world. So, where the resource guide “The World Turned Upside Down” is a collection or important research reports and published studies, “Chasing The Cyclone” is a novel deeply inspired by and drawn from my own experiences.”

Critics and readers have praised “Chasing The Cyclone”.

… “Chasing The Cyclone” isn’t just a powerful novel; it’s a call to arms against a growing epidemic that is tearing lives apart behind the headlines . . . “Chasing The Cyclone” is much more than just a superb, can’t-put-down novel, though; it is a book with a purpose . . . Peter Thomas Senese has become an outspoken advocate on this issue, and ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ makes for a clear and profoundly effective call to action. I would go so far as to encourage every loving parent to read this book, as the bond between this father and son is one to be emulated . . . (Renown book reviewer Daniel Jolley)

… “Chasing The Cyclone” will shake the audience, this exciting cautionary thriller grips readers from the onset … (Renown book reviewer Harriet Klausner:)

… Peter Thomas Senese now opens the windows on the magnitude of these tragedies in his excellent “Chasing The Cyclone” . . . As if the fast paced energy of this story weren’t enough to satisfy the reader, Peter Thomas demonstrates his quality as a writer of distinction on many levels . . .this impossible to put down book . . . (Renown book reviewer Dr. Grady Harp)

. . . Chasing the Cyclone” is the second book I’ve read by Peter Thomas Senese, and like “The Den of the Assassin,” it’s a real page turner . . . This was a book I could not put down. Thomas has a gift in writing a compelling novel that not only keeps the reader engaged, but educates as well (Renown book reviewer Shelley Gammon)

Patricia Lee, a highly respected international family law attorney practicing international child abduction for nearly 20 years and a Director of the I CARE Foundation (International Parental Child Abduction Research and Education Foundation) stated, “I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Senese first, not as an acclaimed fiction writer, but as a dedicated child advocate helping victimized parents work through the morass of financial, legal and practical issues in their attempts to reunify with their children. I am humbled by his fierce dedication and support to the I CARE foundation, which portends to be a milestone in the State Department’s efforts to recruit and train lawyers in this area of the law in order to better serve targeted children and parents, while also educating an uneducated judiciary. Thank you, Peter for all of your impactful dedication.”

Joel S. Walter, another Director of the I CARE Foundation and a lawyer who has practiced primarily in the federal courts for 35 years added, “I remember when Peter first became aware of his own child’s abduction as I was one of his very first phone calls. His ordeal was unthinkable, and the challenges he faced beyond every parent’s nightmare. Yet Peter did everything he needed to do: in essence stopping everything he was doing and dedicated his time and resources toward reuniting with his abducted son, who was taken to the other side of the world. Knowing Peter for as long as I do, and knowing him for the good-natured, generous, and direct man that he is, I was not surprised to see him try to make important changes in the world of abduction prevention so that other parents and children will never have to experience what he and his family have. The I CARE Foundation is actively making a difference for other paents, and Peter Thomas Senese is a very big reason for this.”

Since the time Mr. Senese was forced to chase the cyclone of child abduction, the established geopolitical novelist has become an active advocate of child abduction prevention, including initiatives to pass new laws such as Florida’s “Child Abduction Prevention Act’, and to widely utilize existing federal policy in order to protect children from abduction such as the “Prevent Departure Program”.

As a Director of the International Child Abduction Research and Education Foundation, Mr. Senese is actively engaged in two new federal policy initiatives: to modify the “Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative” so all American citizens regardless of age would be required to present a passport when traveling abroad by land, sea, or air. The second initiative, as recommended by the GAO, is to create a secondary airline screening list for individuals possessing American citizenship considered to be high-risk child abductors. In addition, under Mr. Senese’s leadership, the I CARE Foundation has commenced a nation-wide recruitment effort seeking attorneys to join the Department of State’s “Hague Convention Attorney Network”.

While the writer has written prolifically about child abduction prevention, including numerous essays and the previous publication of the groundbreaking and extensive IPCA resource guide he co-authored with Carolyn Vlk that was made available for free to the world via E-book, “Chasing The Cyclone” is a deeply personal story. “When I wrote “Chasing The Cyclone” the words flowed onto the pages very easily. My previous novels are based upon heavy research. In this story, my research was my life’s experiences.”

Mr. Senese commented on his activism. “For the vast majority of defenseless children and their parents who are targeted for international parental child abduction, they enter a horrific, little-understood world where law and order and justice are fleeting concepts, but typically not reality. Knowing this first-hand, and having successfully navigated this ordeal under the Hague Convention, it was important to me to try to make a difference and help other targeted children and parents. Having a voice as an established storyteller has allowed me to do some of that in both written word, and in creation of the educational documentary film ‘Chasing Parents’. Yet there is a great deal of work to be done, and so initiatives continue.”

Please visit the official website of “Chasing The Cyclone“. To learn more about Peter Thomas Senese, please visit the author’s official website.

I CARE Foundation Urges Lawyers In Texas, Nevada, Arizona & New Mexico Sought To Join Department of State’s “Attorney Network”

The International Child Abduction Research & Education Foundation (I CARE Foundation) has launched a recruitment campaign urging attorneys located in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada to join the United States Department of State’s Hague Convention Attorney Network (“Attorney Network”) – and help protect innocent children victimized or targeted by international parental child abduction (IPCA). Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada are hotbeds for IPCA due to a significant increase in reported and unreported parental kidnapping cases to and from Mexico and remaining Central America. The Department Of State’s recruitment of attorneys in these states is due to the rise in abduction cases, combined with their effort to educate undocumented parents living in the United States who have been victimized by child abduction that they and their abducted children have protective rights under the Hague Convention.

The I CARE Foundation is urging lawyers in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada interested in assisting parents of children who have been internationally abducted or who may be targets of international parental abduction to participate in the Department of State’s “Hague Convention Attorney Network” according to Peter Thomas Senese, a director of the foundation. “In order to prevent child abduction, the reality is lawyers educated on the complex issues of international child abduction need to be mobilized within the Department of State’s attorney network. When this occurs, there will be significant opportunity to educate a less than knowledgeable judiciary who are too often unfamiliar with the complexities typically present in these cases. Additionally, and of equal importance, particularly in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada is the need for undocumented individuals living in the United States to know that if their child is abducted from the United States, they have major recourse under the Hague Convention, and that the Department of State’s Office of Childrens Issues is ready, willing, and able to assist them.

The Office of Children’s Issues in the U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the “Convention”). The International Child Abduction Remedies Act (“ICARA”), establishes procedures for litigating Convention cases in the U.S. The U.S. Central Authority has numerous functions including facilitating the institution of judicial proceedings in the U.S. “with a view to obtaining the return of the child and, in a proper case, to make arrangements for organizing or securing the effective exercise of rights of access.” In April of 2008, the U.S.Central Authority assumed the responsibility for all incoming cases, and overseeing a network of volunteer attorneys.

The “Attorney Network” provides critical assistance. Lawyers that join the “Attorney Network” are asked to consider taking Hague Convention return and access cases on a pro bono or reduced fee basis. There is never an obligation to take a case, and legal fees and expenses may be recoverable under the Convention’s Article 26 and the implementing statute (42.U.S.C 11607), and under state law when state law remedies are pursued (e.g., UCCJEA). In addition, lawyers with and without Hague experience are welcome to join the Attorney Network, as the Attorney Network offers a host of information and mentor programs. In addition to incoming cases of abduction, attorneys can also represent parents in abduction prevention cases and outgoing abduction cases.

Presently, there are over 1,640 ‘reported’ cases of IPCA originating from the United States according to the last published report issued from the Department of State to Congress. The number of cases has nearly tripled from 2006 to 2009 alone according to a recent report issued by the Government Accountability Office’s (“GAO”). According to I CARE, the number of ‘unreported cases’ of IPCA appears to be substantial and at least equal the number and growth rate of ‘reported’ cases.. Many of the ‘unreported’ cases appear to involve immigrants who originate from Central and South American, and Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada (along with California) clearly have a high-volume of incoming and outgoing cases.

Peter Thomas Senese added, “Overall growth rate of IPCA is conservatively estimated to be between 15% – 20% per year, and there could be well over 100,000 children abducted from the United States between 2009 and 2020 if current trends conservatively stay the same.”

As the growing rate of abduction and the shortage of trained attorneys becomes more well known, key media voices in the legal community have recently come to support I CARE’s recruitment campaign for attorneys to join the Department of State’s “Attorney Program.” Aware of the growing crisis in Connecticut, the Connecticut Law Tribune(CLT) recently published an important article concerning this issue.

Patricia M. Lee, a Florida attorney practicing in the area of parental child abduction and a Director of the I CARE Foundation who was interviewed by the CLT states, “I feel privileged to have been a referral attorney for the implementing agency for many years of my private practice. The trauma experienced by victimized children and parents when faced with a child abduction, especially in the international arena, is overwhelming, primarily due to the lack of experienced attorneys, but also, due to the great financial burden, and cultural and language barriers. When they have nowhere else to turn and are so desperate, being able to help these people has been a rewarding experience personally, as well as professionally. It is worth every hour I have spent climbing the learning curve in this little known area of the law. OCI has always been responsive and helpful in the practicalities of dealing with clients living abroad, and the network of mentor attorneys available across the U.S., nothing short of a wealth of information and assistance. My experience in taking these cases has been humbling, to say the least, as I have seen the very best of my profession, which is too often the object of jokes and derision. I would encourage any attorney to join the Attorney Network.”

Joel S. Walter, an lawyer practicing in New York, a member of the I CARE Foundation, and a Director of the Attorney Network said, “As a lawyer practicing complex cases primarily in federal court for over 30 years, it is astonishing to learn of the tragedies children of abduction and their targeted parents face. In joining the Department of State’s “Attorney Network”, I have an opportunity to give back to our community, and make a difference in the life of a child. Participating in the network is not just good lawyering, but it is good citizenship. The I CARE Foundation looks forward to assisting the Department of State by educating other lawyers about the attorney network in hope that they too may participate in this critical program.”

Denise Gunn Garno, a Naples, Florida based lawyer practicing primarily complex family law matters and who is a member of the Department Of State’s Hague Convention Attorney Network commented on the significance of lawyers from Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada to join the ‘Attorney Network’ when she stated, “Florida’s new CAPA law presents a challenge to attorneys attempting to ensure CAPA is applied in cases wherein children are in imminent danger of abduction. A lack of judicial awareness is extremely detrimental as it puts children’s lives in jeopardy. In order for the State of Florida and our nation to protect our children from abduction, we must not only create abduction prevention laws, but the rules of law must be adhered to. My participation in the Department of State’s Hague Convention Attorney Network will make a difference in the lives of my clients and hopefully the children targeted of this crime from my home state.”

Carolyn Ann Vlk, writer of Florida’s CAPA law and a director of I CARE said, “The reality is that laws that have been established to protect children are not followed in part due to an uneducated judiciary. The way to remedy this is to have informed litigators who can make a difference before the courts. Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona have a high case load and clearly attorneys are needed by the Department of State to join their “Attorney Network.”

An extensive report to be published by I CARE this December puts the cost of IPCA in the United States over the next 10 years at over 1.6 Billion dollars.

If you are a lawyer interested in finding out more about the Hague Convention Attorney Network, please visit or call 202-501-4444. To learn more about international parental child abduction please visit

Upcoming Report On Financial Burden Of International Child Abduction In the U.S. Expected To Report Extensive Losses For Targeted Parents: WHTI Policy Flaws Cited

Authors and child advocates Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Vlk recently published report on international parental child abduction originating from the United States points to major loopholes in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative as a primary reason how American children are illegally removed from the country.

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 06, 2011

A landmark study conducted by child abduction prevention advocates Carolyn Ann Vlk and Peter Thomas Senese reveals astonishing loopholes in Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) travel documentation requirements for children 16 years old or younger that inadvertently have created substantial opportunities for international parental child abductors and human traffickers who target thousands of U.S. children each year for cross-border abduction.

The report is titled “International Child Abduction and Human Trafficking In The Western Hemisphere,” and is contained in the child abduction prevention advocates’ recently published resource guide on child abduction titled “The World Turned Upside Down”, which has been made available as a free E-book by the authors.

The extensive study focuses in part on the limited ground and sea travel documentation requirements needed for children traveling to contiguous nations as defined by the WHTI, including to the two nations that represent the highest concentration of abduction cases to and from the United States: Mexico and Canada, while also focusing on illegal travel to the Caribbean via cruise ship.

Under existing United States WHTI policy, a child under 16 years of age traveling by land or by sea to Canada, Mexico, or any number of Caribbean island-nations is required to present as little as a photocopy of their nationalization papers such as a photocopy of a birth certificate. No valid passport is required unless a child is traveling by air. With fraudulent travel documentation being a major issue for the Department of Homeland Security, it is clear that all travel of minors must include use of a valid passport regardless of how travel is conducted.

According to the 2010 Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspect of International Child Abduction prepared by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues, there were 1,621 ‘reported’ international parental child abductions originating from the U.S. during 2009. The average growth rate over the past several years is approximately 20% per year.

Additionally, the number of ‘unreported’ cases of international child abduction to contiguous nations is believed to be substantial and is discussed in “Crisis in America: International Parental Child Abduction Today” that is included in Peter Senese and Carolyn Vlk’s “The World Turned Upside Down.” Supporting the concern of the existence of significant ‘unreported’ cases is the most recent National Incidence Study of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Thrownaway Children (NISMART-2) study, which reports that of the 203,900 children that are estimated to be parentally abducted annually in the U.S., only 28% (56,500) of these abductions were reported to law enforcement.

The “International Child Abduction and Human Trafficking In The Western Hemisphere” report has two main objectives: the first goal is to raise awareness of the loopholes traffickers and child abductors may utilize to facilitate their criminal acts of child-stealing so that targeted parents of child abduction, the judiciary and its court officers, law enforcement officials, and policymakers may act to protect children from this hideous type of crime. The second objective is to offer potential solutions through preventative measures and legislative changes that may assist in preventing child abduction and human trafficking as it is uniquely related to current WHTI policy.

In addition, the child abduction prevention advocates have recently created a White House petition site urging others to share their voice in seeking to modify the existing WHTI policy so that all U.S. citizens, regardless of age, must travel with a vaild passport.

Peter Thomas Senese, the author of the upcoming novel ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ critics have called a ‘Call-To-Arms’ against child-stealing that was inspired by his experience as a father who faced international parental child abduction stated, “The information furnished in our report provides substantial insight on how each year thousands of targeted children of international abduction living in the Western Hemisphere, including a considerable number of defenseless U.S. children-citizens, may be criminally transported across international borders. The loopholes in current government policy that may allow abductors to steal children across international borders are severe. In releasing this comprehensive study and by offering measurable solutions, it is Carolyn Vlk’s and my aspiration to raise awareness so that existing policy may be changed in the name of our children’s best interest.”

Carolyn Ann Vlk commented, “International child abduction and human trafficking are urgently critical issues that necessitate an immediate response. As children do not have the ability to protect themselves, we must continue to identify risk factors and loopholes that lead them to becoming victimized. The current situation is intolerable and the sheer numbers of children that are disappearing is unacceptable. These are horrendous crimes which mandate our highest priority and that necessitate legislative changes to take place immediately at the federal level. A mandate requiring a passport for all international travel will create the type of change necessary to further protect the innocent ones from this unconscionable crime.”

Mr. Senese added, “In the near future, we will be releasing a comprehensive study on the financial cost and financial loss associated with international parental child abduction originating from the United States. Our preliminary findings are shocking, and surely will open up many lawmakers eyes on the exteme financial impact international parental child abduction has on our nation and its economy. All this aside – what we’re interested in getting our hands around is rather straight-forward: we want to fully understand how our children are being abducted and what can we do about it. Obviously prevention is key. And that means we must, under all circumstances, modify the WHTI because we’re not talking about 1 or 10 or 100 defenseless American child-citizens lives here, we’re talking about thousands of children. And this is unacceptable.”

Costs for targeted American citizen parents associated with an international parental child abduction include but are not limited to extensive legal costs in the United States and abroad (to the country that the child was illegally taken to and/or detained in, costs associated with finding a child if the child’s location is unknown or costs associated with hiring private security to monitor the child’s whereabouts while legal proceedings take place, and travel related costs associated with a targeted parent’s litigation and hopeful reunification abroad. In addition, the financial burden for the courts and law enforcement are also extensive.

Best-selling author Peter Thomas Senese stated, “When we consider the growing rate of abduction for reported international child abduction cases and the anticipated growing rate of abduction for unreported international child abduction cases in the Untied States, and then factor in the overall costs associated with an abduction, including factoring in a series of additional factors as will be reported in the upcoming study, the overall financial impact on American citizens over a ten year period will far exceed One Billion dollars.”

To read more about the “International Child Abduction and Human Trafficking In The Western Hemisphere,” please download a free copy of “The World Turned Upside Down.”

Peter Senese and Carolyn Vlk Make Major Contribution To Child Abduction Prevention Community: Publish Historic Resource Guide

Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Ann Vlk are child abduction prevention advocates who have spent endless resources researching issues related to international parental child abduction (IPCA). Recently, the child advocates published the historic ‘THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN’, a 330 page resource guide containing groundbreaking research and landmark findings on a diverse number of issues surrounding IPCA. At the core of the manifesto, the authors ask the questions, “How are our children being internationally abducted, and, what can we do to prevent this from happening?”

Reviewers, critics, and more importantly, the intended audience of ‘THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN’ – targeted parents of at-risk children and professionals and advocates who actively act to prevent abduction from occurring have praised Mr. Senese and Ms. Vlk’s publication as a resource tool that has had a significant impact on the safety of many children.

Peter Thomas Senese commented, ‘THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN’ is the product of years of research and study into various issues of child abduction. Both Carolyn Vlk and I volunteer our time and resources to this important issue because it is our hope to stop as many child abductions as possible from occurring. Unfortunately, too many targeted children and many family law practitioners are not fully aware of the complex issues of international child abduction. So we decided to publish this extensive resource guide and make it free for everyone who needs it, while also using our finding to push for new state and federal laws and policy that will prevent international child abduction.”

Written reviews of ‘THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN’ tell a story of two child advocates making a positive difference in the lives of many. For insight on the high-impact work of Mr. Senese and Ms. Vlk, please read the following reviews:

Written By: Joel S. Walter (Esquire and Renown Child Advocate)
The World Turned Upside Down is a must read for all parents! The authors, Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Vlk are leading advocates in the world of International Parental Child Abduction. Mr. Senese’s work in this area is exemplary and impactful, and he and Ms. Vlk, author of Florida’s Child Abduction Law, have both been successful ‘chasing’ parents, and they offer a detailed manual providing that which one needs to know if one’s child is at risk …The WORLD provides one with strategies by explaining the different laws and treaties that come into play regarding child abduction. Also, the authors provide the reader with those “risk factors” to watch for and methods to protect against a child’s abduction with steps to take should the abduction actually occur.It is critical that any partner in a cross-cultural relationship pay attention to the risk factors which are detailed by the authors …This clearly written resource guide will either help prevent an abduction or assist in the recovery of your child … The authors have demonstrated their activism by uploading a full free copy of The World Turned Upside Down which is a HOME RUN! Kudos!

Written By:  Jill Jones-Soderman (Executive Director: ‘The Foundation For The Child Victims Of The Family Court’)
We wish to note that Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Ann Vlk’s THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN  is filled with accurate, usable, effective information  dealing with that which is certainly one of the most horrifying experiences of a parent’s life, the abduction of their child by a co-parent.In fact, it is in the authors’ clear and thoughtful research on various issues concerning international parental child abduction that new and important light is shed on critical topics that ask the questions ‘How are our children internationally kidnapped?’ and ‘What can we do to prevent this?’ In answering these questions in various ways, Mr. Senese and Ms. Vlk continue to assess previously published statistics, research, and data, and analyze how this information was derived. What has become clear and certain is that the general public, the court’s, lawmakers, and attorneys  know very little about international parental child abduction, and the widespread impact it has on society. Concrete material which galvanizes the strength of a stricken parent includes such material as the research report titled ‘Crisis In America: International Parental Child Abduction Today’ …Truly, for the first time has there been a thorough analysis that provides the full view of abduction, while also dissecting and discarding previously inaccurate information based on faulty past studies … Another brilliant component of THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN is a section titled ‘International Parental Child Abduction and Human Trafficking In The Western Hemisphere’. Here, the authors hit pay-dirt. In asking the question, ‘How are our children abducted?’, the authors are led toward studying the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).  Under the WHTI, it has become clear how children are abducted. Specifically, the WHTI allows for children under the age of 16 traveling by land or by sea from the United States to present a photocopy of their citizenship papers such as a birth certificate! As the authors point out, only the use of a passport at departure provides some control over possible abduction … Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Ann Vlk have created a highly valuable manifesto on international parental child abduction prevention and recovery that is clearly geared toward two objectives. The first is obvious: to help other parents and children who are targets of abduction. The second objective is to create a highly informative and accurate resource for lawmakers, members of the judiciary, and child advocates alike, as the authors focus their actions toward changing, modifying, or implementing new law and policy at either a state or federal level … THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN  is a unique, outstanding, generous contribution unknown to date for its desire to help a huge public that has suffered immeasurably for lack of information as to how to proceed and who to trust in their quest to find a missing/lost child.  THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN by child advocates Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Ann Vlk is a true manifesto that every parent potentially at risk, that every family court lawyer, and every lawmaker interested in protecting our nation’s children should read.

Written By: Rianna Pearson (Targeted Parent of at-risk children)
Undeniably, Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Vlk’s `The World Turned Upside Down’ is so much more than a brilliant resource guide selflessly created by two highly respected child abduction prevention advocates who have had an immensely impactful influence on a large and growing global community seeking to find effective remedies to this abusive crime against children. And I know this first-hand because I am a parent at risk who was able to protect my three children from abduction due in no small way because of Mr. Senese and Ms. Vlk’s intervention and the knowledge they directly shared with me which is also contained in `The World Turned Upside Down’. The reality is my children were not abducted to a foreign country because of the information contained in `The World Turned Upside Down’ and the extraordinary knowledge and actions of Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Vlk … There are individuals who decide to act in the face of adversity in order to help others. In creating `The World Turned Upside Down’, Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Vlk have not only acted and acted again, but the information they share will help many others throughout the world … `The World Turned Upside Down’ is a carefully written manifesto on how to stop a growing worldwide problem. As for Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Vlk, what can I say? I know if it was not for them, my children would be long gone. As I shared earlier in this review, “God bless both of you, and thank you so much for all you did for me and my children.” Help other customers find the most helpful reviews.

Written By: G. Nyberg (Renown Child Advocate)
The World Turned Upside Down is written by a parent who experienced firsthand the horror, pain, and financial burden of having his child abducted. Peter got directly involved in the search for his son and remained persistent in his quest despite the many setbacks and obstacles. Through his experience he recognized the necessity to help and educate parents facing the same circumstances. Peter wanted to empower parents with the knowledge, statistics, contacts, and networks he discovered effective and useful, so he wrote, “The World Turned Upside Down”. This book is essential for not only parents searching for their children, but for law enforcement, advocates, an NGO, and other professionals involved in international child abduction and human trafficking … The World Turned Upside Down is a must read not only for parents at risk of child abduction, such as those who believe a non-custodial parent is capable of taking their child illegally and leaving the country, but for anyone close to them.

Written By: Amanda Bayoumi (Targeted Parent of At-Risk Children)
In THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN, Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Vlk have created an extraordinary vital tool for any parent who’s child is at risk of international parental child abduction or has been criminally abducted. Packed with a plethora of resources,important contacts and information right at your fingertips, THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN is the creation of years of research complied into to a easy to read format that will be always evolving based on the needs of the left behind parent. This will be a living and breathing book that with completely change the fight against international parental child abduction. I applaud the authors for their significant effort to help parents like myself who have been targets for a potential criminal child abduction. Not only has the written book THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN been a great resource to me and my legal representatives, but the material presented has in fact made a very big difference on my and my children’s safety. I am extremely grateful that this book has been published and made available the way it has. Clearly both Peter Senese and Carolyn Vlk dedication to helping parents and children like myself is most commendable. THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN is a must read for targeted parents of abduction, lawmakers, and most of all, judges who oversee cases involving children and a potential abduction risk.

Written By: David Bokel (Child Advocate and Targeted Parent)

The World Turned Upside Down is a great resource for law enforcement, judges, lawyers, legislatures, and parents. It is so painful to imagine your own child suddenly missing. Many parents and whole communities of people do not know what to do when a child goes missing. This book provides valuable answers. If more people worked on prevention, there would be fewer children missing. We need to look past the pain in order to find ways to prevent child abduction. I invite all to educate themselves and work hard to advocate for our children and reduce the numbers of children abducted. Together we can make a difference for the benefit of our precious children.

Written By: Vivian Middleton (Child Advocate)
The World Turned Upside Down is a book that is filled with Knowledge. Knowledge is POWER! Parental Alienation is an Epidemic throughout our world, yet very little is being done to prevent it. This book offers the reader to gain the knowledge necessary to bring about CHANGE! If one sit’s idly by and does nothing, then nothing changes. I can not emphasize enough just how very important it is for each of us to become involved. I feel that this book gives one an extended helping hand in bringing about a profound change and protect our children from such a horrific episode in their life and that of their loved ones, that forever leaves permanent scars. This is a preventable occurrence. But one must want and seek out change. I think that this book offers so much information to those who have not fully explored the World of Parental Alienation. It offers so much to those who are going through it. A GREAT RESOURCE of INFORMATION. Well worth reading and sharing and doing everything possible to bring about change to protect the innocent children that we are suppose to protect.

Written By: Peggy G – (Grandparent of at-risk children)
The “World Turned Upside Down” by Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Vlk is a book that has truly impacted my family’s life. Speaking from experience, I know first-hand the serious challenges that a parent faces when their child is at risk for international child abduction. In my family’s case, this is even more true when the other parent is from the Middle East and from a country that is not a party to any international treaty and where women are not nationals of that nation and have NO rights. There is no doubt that abduction prevention is the key. Every case is unique and with jurisdictional laws that vary from state to state, it is so important to have the critical and up-to-date information on international parental child abduction and prevention that is found in “The World Turned Upside Down.” It is a wonderful gift that Peter and Carolyn have given to all of us to provide great insight on every issue that a targeted parent or family MUST pay attention to. I urge every parent involved in a cross-cultural relationship to read “The World Turned Upside Down.” Don’t wait. It may very well be the most important book you will ever read. On a personal note, I want to thank Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Vlk for being so dedicated to helping other parents and their children. Their work and actions alone with my family have made such a big difference and we are so thankful to them both.

Written By: N. Caraballo (Child Advocate)
Although I was not personally and directly involved during the time in which the International Parental Abduction was committed in our situation, I am now having to deal with the aftermath and prevention of a potential re-abduction of a minor child that I have come to love, care and cherish. Although our child is back home where he belongs in Florida, the hardest and most challenging issue has been to educate the judge and the legal system to put in place the preventive measures to avoid another re-abduction. This book has all the information to educate the judges, courts, and attorneys to take into consideration the preventive measures that can be put into place to avoid re-abduction by the parent who have no respect to the laws of our country. I’ve learned so much from this book. Parental International Abduction is a CRIME, it is CHILD ABUSE!! Let’s get together and spread this informational book to avoid and deter those people who think they can commit this crime and get away with it!! THANK YOU, PETER AND CAROLYN FOR SHARING ALL THE INFORMATIVE RESOURCES CONTAINED IN THIS BOOK. I know with all this information, we can continue to stay strong and keep our child safe at home!

Written By: Ann Kerlin (Child Advocate)
It is sad and disgusting to know that grown adults play a cat and mouse game with one another using their own child(ren) as a pawn. In a lot of instances, one parent abducts their child(ren) from the guardian parent and crosses international lines to flee and hide. The mental and spiritual damage this causes to the child(ren) is staggering yet it doesn’t just continues but is growing more rampant each year. On top of having to deal with parent against parent, there are also still many child(ren) abducted by strangers for whatever reason, be it greed or just evil intentions. In order to bright light to this worldwide epidemic, Peter Thomas Senese, being experienced as a “Chasing Parent” himself and Carolyn Ann Vlk, who has experienced the threats of abductions of her son, wrote this comprehensive e-book to outline the numbers (which is staggering), the financial burden on the “Chasing Parent” of trying to recover their abducted child(ren), as well as resources that the “Chasing Parents” can utilize to perhaps locate and recover their abducted child … As much as we want to keep our eyes closed to this type of tragedy, they happen and more times than we would like. Kudos to Peter and Carolyn for their hard work and dedication in bringing this book and awareness to the forefront.

Written By: Stephen Bryer (Targeted Parent Of At-Risk Children)
I hope it is not viewed as to strange to say in my review of THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN ‘God Bless both of you, Peter Senese and Carolyn Vlk’: without the information that you have provided in your incredible resource guide, I am certain my son and daughter would be long gone and out of the country. It was due to the information you created that my lawyer was able to persuade the court to act carefully and not permit my ex-wife leave the country with my son and daughter. As it turned out, she had every intention of abducting my kids and staying in Russia … The acts of Mr. Senese and Ms. Vlk to create such a thorough and detailed guide – and publish it for free only leads me to say one thing: God Bless you, Peter Senese and Carolyn Vlk.

For more information, please visit or

Peter Thomas Senese Creates WHITE HOUSE Petition Site Urging Support For New Child Abduction Prevention Policies

The United States’ Government Accountability Office Recently Recommended A No-Fly List For High Risk Child Abductors. Child Abduction Prevention Advocates Like Myself, Carolyn Vlk, Joel Walter, Patricia Lee, Eric Kalmus, and Pamela Michell Applaude This Recommendation As A Means To Dramatically Reduce Abduction.

Peter Thomas Senese
After A Long Day At The
United States Capitol

A groundbreaking United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has recommended for the creation of a new international parental child abduction prevention program aimed at establishing a non-departure fly list for United States citizens who have been determined by either our courts or law enforcement as potential high-risk international parental child abductors. In the report that Gerald Dillingham, the Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues for the U.S. GAO issued, the GAO recommendation states, “To further help prevent international parental child abduction involving airline flights, particularly for persons identified as high risk for attempting such abductions, we recommend that the Secretary of Homeland Security consider creating a program similar to the child abduction component of the Prevent Departure program that would apply to U.S. citizens.”

A response from Jim Crumpacker of the Departmental GAO/OIG Liaison Office of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) concurs with the GAO recommendation to create a secondary security screening list in order to stop American child-citizens from being illegally abducted abroad; however, DHS cites challenges that exist to implement such a program. Specifically, “DHS strongly agrees that preventing international child abduction is a very important issue. The Department also agrees that expanding its current efforts along these lines to include pre-departure flight screening for potential U.S. citizen abductors could be helped in preventing some abductions.”


In response to Mr. Dillingham and Mr. Crumpacker, I was recently quoted as saying, “The recommendation from the Government Accountability Office, agreed by both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State, sends an important message to local courts involved with a child’s welfare when they consider the potential for a child’s international abduction that there is a real and growing problem of American child-citizens who are either criminally abducted from the United States or illegally detained in a foreign country after travel orders are granted. The local courts charged with oversight of a child must take note that the United States federal government is directly saying that existing state and federal government programs and policies created to prevent abduction are not enough to prevent child abduction, and serious loopholes exist that allow for children to be stolen and taken abroad – where too many defenseless children are never recovered. It is my hope that the convergence of multiple government agencies cited in the GAO report, each declaring that IPCA is a real problem, will cause local courts to realize their need to act prudently and with keen insight on all the local and international issues involving a potential child abduction. With thousands of children criminally abducted from the United States and taken abroad each year, the creation of a secondary security departure list will stop a substantial number of American child-citizen kidnappings from occurring each year. This recommended policy is exactly what the child abduction prevention community has been calling for.”


I am very pleased to announce today the free E-book publication of THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN: International Parental Child Abduction by Peter Thomas Senese with special contributions by Carolyn Ann Vlk.

THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN by Peter Thomas Senese with Carolyn Ann Vlk is an extensive resource guide presently 315 pages in length containing significant information and landmark reports and research studies that will be useful for all individuals, including targeted parents, law enforcement officers, courts, and lawmakers interested in understanding and preventing international parental child abduction or human trafficking.

What is dynamic about THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN outside of the fact that the content and material contained within the book is that THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN takes shape in the form of a virtual E-book that is intended to be updated with new content, information, and material as relevant material and information becomes available. In essence, THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN is the foundation for a very unique cyber-library with the intent of providing critically important information for all individuals in need of information regarding child abduction.

In keeping with my goal of being able to offer to the world-at-large relevant, timely, and important information that may protect innocent children targeted for international abduction, it was my desire to make this extensive publication free-of-charge to all who desire to read it. THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN is available online as a free download in a PDF file format. Both Carolyn Ann Vlk’s and my child abduction prevention advocacy is done on a volunteer basis.

Making THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN free of charge is similar to the free extensive documentary film series titled ‘CHASING PARENTS: Racing Into the Storms of International Parental Child Abduction’ I have created that continues to educate a substantial number of individuals from around the world on the growing epidemic of criminal child abduction.

On behalf of Carolyn Ann Vlk and myself, I hope that the information contained in THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN will be of help to you.



Peter Thomas Senese