The Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction and Return Act – the subject of two previous posts which can be read here and here – has now been passed by both Houses of Congress. Once the Act is signed into law by the President I shall write in more detail about this legislation, the likely effectiveness of it and whether other countries can or might enact similar provisions. In short, though, it makes provision for an escalating range of measures designed to coax and, failing that, coerce states harbouring internationally abducted children to return them to the United States.
The Act is named after Sean Goldman, an American citizen abducted to Brazil in 2004; through the efforts of his father, David, he was returned to the United States in 2009. The Act was sponsored by Congressman Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, who took an interest in the Goldman case. There is a report on the passing of the law on his website here. The full text of the legislation can be read here.