Child abduction abroad

The crime of child abduction and detention abroad, Article 574 bis of the Criminal Code, provides two different procedures for the return of a child depending on whether the state to which the child has been taken has acceded to the Hague Convention or not.

The article states as follows, “Unless the act constitutes a more serious crime, anyone who takes a child away from the parent exercising parental responsibility or guardian, leading or detaining him abroad against the will of the same parent or guardian, preventing in whole or in part the exercise of parental responsibility, shall be punished by imprisonment from one to four years.

If the act referred to in the first paragraph is committed against a minor who has reached the age of fourteen years and with his or her consent, the punishment of imprisonment from six months to three years shall apply.

However, the Supreme Court in the Judgment No. 21634/2022 clarified that detaining a minor abroad cannot be considered abusive behavior without first ascertaining the reported consequences, also as this offense is specifically provided  and punished by Article 574 bis of the Criminal Code.

The parent to whom the child has been abducted should immediately contact the Central Authority at the Ministry of Justice in Rome – Department for Juvenile Justice to communicate the address where the child may be located and take steps to initiate the procedure. Once the forms have been filled out and the required child’s documents have been provided, the proceedings begin and it is a good idea for the victim to be assisted by a legal counsel.
In case of a child abduction do not hesitate to contact Time is of essence. 
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