28th August 2009: For Immediate Release
Dads in Distresss (DiDs)
The child, who cant be named because the matter is now before the Family Court of Australia, was abducted two days ago by his mother despite an injunction preventing her from taking the child from the country.
Mr Tony Miller the CEO of Dads in Distress saidThe abduction this week of yet another child from Australia again highlights major shortcoming in Australias legal system and immigration processes when it comes to protecting our children
Mr Miller also raised questions about Australias immigration system. Although both parents must sign for the issuing of an Australian Passport to a minor, the father had no knowledge about a passport being issued for his son.
Mr Miller saidOne of many concerns I have about this case, is that the mother appears to have been able to get the injunction removed simply by making a phone call' to the Family Court of Australia.
How can that happen when it was known by the father and the authorities that the mother was intending to abduct the child?
Mr Miller is calling on the Australian Government to introduce immediate reforms to reduce the likelihood of more children being abducted from Australia. The Australian Government has a responsibility to protect children from parents who put themselves above the law and who flout the rights that children have under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child He said. This includes the right to have a relationship with both parents.
The childs father is mounting a vigil for his missing son on the steps of the Family Court in Sydney. He has been on a hunger strike for the past 24 hours and will continue until the Australian Government locates his child.
The father has been joined on his vigil by the Deputy Commissioner of the NSW Fire Brigade (Ken Thompson) who is currently searching around the world for his own five-year-old son who was abducted from Australia by his non-custodial mother in April 2008. His son has not been seen or heard of since the abduction.
Mr Thompson is also concerned about shortcomings in Australias legal and immigration systems that enables these abductions to take place with little or no preventative measures in place. He is also advocating for major changes.
Tony Miller from DiDs saidSomething must be done urgently to stop these terrible abductions from happening. Australia has the highest per capita rate of child abductions in the world. About 150 children are abducted from Australia each year.
All Australian parents need to be extremely concerned about the ease with which their children can be abducted under our current laws and procedures. They should support DiDs call for major legal and procedural reform. In some cases, these children will never have any contact with the left-behind parent
Dads in Distress Inc.
Mobile 0422 105855
Business 02 6652 8113
Crisis Line 1300 853437