UK Embassy promotes training week on child abduction in partnership with TRF-2UK Embassy promotes training week on child abduction in partnership with TRF-2

Event will be led by British NGO specialized in the subject, a drama faced by thousands of parents around the world.

On October 3rd (Monday), from 10am, the British Embassy will promote, in partnership with the Federal Regional Court of the 2nd Region (which has jurisdiction in Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo), a new stage of the training for mediators in cases of child abduction. The goal of the event, based in Rio de Janeiro, is to prepare participants to deal with the parents of children whose removal has not been authorized by a natural parent or legally appointed guardian – in many cases abroad.

The five-day training will address topics such as the emotional effects of family separation, cases where mediation can be decisive, impasses between parents, and the need to consider the opinion and wishes of the children involved. The event will be led by two representatives of the British NGO Reunite International Child Abduction Centre: the organization’s president, Alison Shalaby, and Janet Flawith, a lawyer who has been mediating child abduction cases since 2013.

Shalaby’s dedication to this cause is a consequence of her personal experience: her daughter was taken to Egypt as a child and only returned to the UK after a long battle. In recognition of her services to society, Shalaby was awarded the medal of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2013.

“Often children are taken out of the country and the environment they are already used to and in several cases contact with the rest of the family is reduced or cut off. This can cause children to become traumatized and insecure. It is therefore essential that these cases be resolved as quickly as possible for the good of all involved,” says Shalaby.

The Reunite International organization works to raise awareness about child abduction, pressures foreign governments to deal with the problem more effectively, and promotes international forums to seek mediated solutions. “It is very bad for parents when the only prospect of resolving a child abduction case is through court proceedings. Events such as this training are important to qualify mediators who can help parents build the best possible future for their children,” says the president of the NGO.

The event will be held in the Auditorium of the Federal Court, in the port region of Rio de Janeiro.


Although Brazil has adopted the translation of the 1980 Hague Convention for “international child abduction”, this is not exactly kidnapping as we know it in Criminal Law. It is an illegal displacement of the child from its country and/or its wrongful retention in a place other than that of its habitual residence.

In English-speaking countries, the term “abduction” was used, meaning the illicit transfer of a person (in this case, a child) to another country through the use of force or fraud. In Brazil, the term “abduction” was chosen, which, as it does not correspond to the type provided for in Brazilian civil or criminal legislation, has caused a certain lack of understanding in the internal sphere.


Founded in 1987, Reunite International Child Abduction Centre is the UK’s leading non-profit organization specializing in the abduction of children abroad.

The NGO maintains a telephone hotline to offer practical advice to parents, relatives and guardians involved in cases of international child abduction, serving both those whose children have been taken away and parents who may have been the perpetrators of an abduction. There are about 17,000 calls and 1,500 families assisted per year.

This 24-hour communication channel also serves parents who fear that their child may be kidnapped and offers help to those who do not know the whereabouts of their child. In addition, Reunite International offers expert mediation services to promote agreements that meet the needs of families.

The NGO works closely with various parts of the British government, such as the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs, and is supported by lawyers, academics, police services and other organizations around the world.

*** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI Team ***

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