“Bring Our Kids Home USA,” a national lobbying group founded by parents from New York and New Jersey, has made yet another appeal this Thanksgiving season to have their children abducted and taken to India by a spouse, to be returned. It’s ben estimated that as of December 31, 2014, there were at least 75 open cases, which represents about 100 children, almost half of them open 5 years or more, in India.
Bring Our Kids Home stepped up its advocacy over the last week to pressure members of U.S. Congress, federal Agencies and top Indian officials to take a serious look at the issue. They met India’s Deputy Foreign Minister V.K. Singh on November 15 at the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Los Angeles, and made their case at a Congressional hearing on November 19, on Capitol Hill.
Though they see some progress with the active advocacy and support from Congressman Chris Smith, R-N.J. who has probed the State Department’s actions or lack thereof on this issue. On November 19, the House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee chaired by Rep. Smith, held the latest of several hearings on “The Goldman Act to Return Abducted American Children: Ensuring Administration Action.” The Goldman Act was signed into law by President Obama in August 2014. Rep. Chris Smith has held the State Department’s feet to the fire demanding action.
In the Los Angeles meeting, Ravi Parmar, father of child abducted to India in 2012, co-founder of Bring Our Kids Home submitted a package to Deputy Foreign Minister Singh containing case summaries, information about the issue and a letter urging India to sign a bilateral agreement with the United States to facilitate prompt return of abducted children from both nations. “Minister Singh promised to look at the information submitted by the organization and provide appropriate assistance,” Parmar said.
A spark however, was lit when U.S. Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, recently tweeted that the issue of parents of international parental child abductions, IPCA, was discussed during recently held US-India Consular Dialogue in D.C.