EPs are concerned over the high number of parental child abduction cases due to the reluctance of Japanese authorities to comply with international law.
In a resolution adopted on Wednesday with 686 votes in favour, 1 against and 8 abstentions, Parliament expressed its concerns over children’s wellbeing as a result of children in Japan being abducted by a parent. They call on the Japanese authorities to enforce international rules on child protection and to introduce changes to their legal system to allow for shared custody.
Enforcing international law
Parliament regrets that one of the EU’s strategic partners does not appear to be complying with international rules on child abduction. They urge the Japanese authorities to enforce domestic and foreign court decisions on the return of the child and on access and visiting rights after the parents’ relationship has ended, in order to bring their domestic laws in line with their international commitments and obligations.
MEPs underline that safeguarding the child’s best interest must be the primary concern and abduction cases must be handled swiftly to avoid long-term adverse consequences on the child and the future relationship with the non-custodial parent. They point out that under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), every child has the right to maintain a personal relationship and direct contact with both their parents, unless it is contrary to their interests.