Wednesday, July 15, 2020

State Department's Annual Report on International Child Abduction, 2020: Romania

The U.S. State Department has recently released their annual report on International Child Abduction. Below is our ninth post in a series here focusing on the ten countries classified as “demonstrating patterns of noncompliance.” Today's country is Romania.

Country Summary: The Convention has been in force between the United States and Romania since 1993. In 2019, Romania demonstrated a pattern of noncompliance. Specifically, the judicial authorities persistently failed to implement and comply with the provisions of the Convention. Additionally, law enforcement authorities regularly failed to enforce return orders. As a result of this failure, 100 percent 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 one year and three months.

Central Authority: While the United States and the Romanian Central Authorities have a cooperative relationship, delays in communication about actions to resolve Convention cases are an area of continuing concern.

Location: The Department of State did not request assistance with location from the Romanian authorities. 
Judicial Authorities: The judicial authorities of Romania reached a timely decision. However, delays by the Romanian judicial authorities at the enforcement stage impacted cases during 2019. As a result of these delays, a case was pending with the judiciary for over one year, contributing to a pattern of noncompliance. 
Enforcement: While a court in Romania ordered a return under the Convention, the Romanian authorities were not able to enforce this order. There was one case (accounting for 100 percent of the unresolved cases) that has been pending for more than 12 months in which law enforcement has failed to enforce a return order. 
Department Recommendations: The Department will continue intense engagement with the Romanian authorities to address issues of concern.