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International Parental Child Abduction to South Korea

International parental child abduction (국제 아동 탈취 in Korean) is a serious and growing problem in South Korea (the Republic of Korea).  South Korea joined the Hague Abduction Convention in 2012, and the corresponding implementation law went into effect in 2013.  However, in 2022 and again in 2023, the country was found non-compliant with its treaty obligations by the US State Department.  This was due to the government's failure to actually return abducted children to their left-behind parents after finalized Hague decisions.  And the court processes for both return decisions and enforcement are very slow, leading to parents being cut off from their children for many years.

You can learn more about the situation at the FindMyParent country page (English) or namuwiki (Korean).  Prominent cases and related protests have been covered by the Korean media, and due to the non-compliance citations, government-level reform efforts are underway.  However, long-standing cases remain unresolved.

If you are dealing with an abduction of your own child to South Korea from anywhere in the world, you can get help from a group of other left-behind parents who are working together to fight the problem both within Korea and internationally.  For assistance, please email us at info@november13.org.  We can share our own experiences, walk you through the government and legal steps, warn you about pitfalls, and provide you with resources to help you educate yourself about how to maximize your chances of being reunited with your children.

The abduction problem is especially serious in South Korea due to the prevalence of parental alienation during and after divorce, together with the absence of meaningful joint custody laws.   Abducting parents undermine the relationship between the child and the left-behind parent and prevent them from seeing each other.  Since current enforcement procedures require the child's own consent in order for the return to be successful, abducting parents are given an incentive to carry out a parental alienation campaign, making court decisions by actual judges meaningless.  (Even children as young as three years old are asked for their consent by the enforcement officer!)

Parents who need counseling and support because their children have been abducted can also contact the Parental Alienation Prevention Association within Korea:

Tel : +82-2-733-2023

Naver Cafe : https://cafe.naver.com/panchild

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