Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Argentina's Noncompliance - International Child Abduction - U.S. July 2018 Action Report

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Country Summary:  
The Convention has been in force between the United States and Argentina since 1991. In 2017, Argentina demonstrated a pattern of noncompliance. Specifically, Argentina’s judicial branch regularly failed to implement and compl
y with the provisions
of the Convention. As a result of this failure, 40 percent (two cases involving two children) of requests for the return of abducted children under the Convention remained unresolved for more than 12 months. On average, these cases were unresolved for five years and five months. Argentina has been cited as noncompliant since 2014.

Report of Actions Taken:

Department of State officials raised continuing U.S. concerns about the Argentine judiciary’s failure to meet its Convention obligations in public and private fora. In August 2017, during an official visit to Argentina, the Department formally raised U.S. concerns about Argentina’s performance with senior Argentine officials, citing the high percentage of unresolved Convention abduction cases. In the same visit, a Department official met with a representative from the Hague Conference on Private International Law to convey the Department’s support for a mechanism to expedite judicial resolution of Convention cases, such as the proposed national procedural law.

In September 2017, Department officials met in Argentina with officials from the Argentine Supreme Court and child welfare advocates. These officials participated in a Convention-focused International Visitor Leadership Program in the United States earlier in 2017. The participants demonstrated increased understanding of the U.S. justice system as it relates to international parental child abduction and the safe return of children to the United States.

In December 2017, the U.S. embassy provided a forum for the International Visitor Leadership Program participants to share with the Argentine Central Authority what they learned about U.S. Convention implementation. The participants made recommendations and suggestions to the Central Authority for improved implementation of the Convention in Argentina.

In a February 2018 digital video conference, senior U.S. Central Authority officials met with Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials and the newly installed Argentine Central Authority Director to address the Department’s concern for resolving longstanding Convention cases. This meeting strengthened central authority cooperation.

In May 2018, the Consul General of the U.S. embassy met with the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the Argentine Central Authority to discuss procedural reforms for improving Argentine compliance. In a digital video conference that month, the Department pressed senior Argentine officials on the status of the draft procedural law that seeks to expedite judicial resolution of Convention cases. The Department commended Argentina for the increased adoption, among Argentine courts, of voluntary judicial procedural guidelines for 4 Argentina.

In June 2018, the Consul General of the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires met with the Argentine Hague Network Judge to discuss a joint effort to provide trainings to the Argentine judiciary on the expeditious processing of Convention cases. In the same month, the Consul General delivered a demarche to the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, notifying the Argentine authorities that the Department cited Argentina in the 2018 Annual Report for demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance during 2017. Following the demarche, the U.S. embassy undertook a related media campaign, conducting an interview with a local media outlet and publishing a series of social media posts to raise awareness among the public of Argentina’s noncompliance.