International Parental Child Abduction in Mexico: Some Approaches to Programs and Projects in International Family Mediation - WAMR 2018, Vol. 12, No. 1
On Tuesday, April 10, 2018, an international symposium titled, “International Parental Child Abduction and Mediation in a Globalized World: What Is Happening between the United States and Mexico” (the “Symposium”) was held at Stanford Law School (SLS). The Symposium was co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies at Stanford University, the Martin Daniel Gould Center for Conflict Resolution at Stanford University, and the Legal Research Institute—National Autonomous University of Mexico (IIJ-UNAM). The event was coordinated by Professor Janet Martinez of Stanford Law School and the author of this article. A total of fifteen speakers from the United States, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, participated in this intensive and productive Symposium. The conference’s theme is of paramount importance, mainly due to the exponentially increasing number of abduction cases currently detected worldwide and, in particular, because of the extreme care that must be taken when children are involved. Every effort must be made in the best interest of the child.
With that in mind, it is necessary to focus on the responsibility of all stakeholders involved in these cases, ranging from Central Authorities to specialized mediators and scholars. The Symposium brought together some of the most outstanding and knowledgeable scholars, mediators and judges in this field, from the United States, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. What makes these people outstanding is the fact that they use two of the noblest tools to assist families immersed in these cases: communication and understanding, which translates into cooperation among the different stakeholders, such as Central Authorities, judges, parties, mediators, and more. By cooperation, we mean to trust each other, and consequently to collaborate toward the common goal of deactivating a completely anomalous and detrimental practice like international parental child abduction. In these cases, the child’s life is completely dismantled for an extended period. Daily routines, friendships, school performance, and extracurricular activities, among others, are indefinitely disrupted as the child is forced into the stressful environment that an abduction creates. The proper physical and mental care of children leads to healthy and productive adults and to a better society. Whoever thinks this is a lesser subject is making a crass mistake.