New report to highlight increase in child abduction cases
A report due out on Wednesday 1 May 2013 looks set to re-ignite public and media interest in the plight of Jones Myers’ client Naomi Button, whose appeal for the safe return of her daughter Elsa Salama hit the headlines earlier this year.
The annual report of the Office of the Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales will show a further rise in international child abduction cases.
This increase is in line with figures from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office last December, which revealed an 88 per cent increase in parental child abduction cases over the last decade. The FCO receives four calls a day to its specialist advice line – more than half of which are new cases.
Next week’s report is likely to raise questions about why international child abductions are on the increase and what more can be do to help distraught parents whose children are taken from them.
The issue goes to the heart of the plight of six year old Elsa who was abducted by Naomi’s estranged husband Tamer Salama in December 2011 during a family visit to Egypt. He remains in jail in the UK for failing to disclose where his daughter is hidden.
In the countdown to Elsa’s sixth birthday on 2 February 2013, Naomi launched a social networking campaign comprising a dedicated Facebook Page and Twitter account – @BringElsaHome – in the hope that someone, somewhere might come forward with information to help find Elsa and bring her home.
Naomi’s appeal received widespread coverage across TV channels including BBC Breakfast, Sky News, ITV This Morning, Channel 4, Channel 5 and BBC News 24 and national press including The Telegraph and The Independent. Our local press and radio / TV stations ITV Calendar, Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post, BBC Look North, Radio Aire and BBC Radio Leeds also gave their full support to Naomi’s campaign. Local news agency Ross Parry played a key role in spreading Naomi’s story to newspaper readers across the UK and secured a major feature in Bella Magazine.
Since its launch in January the Bring Elsa Home campaign has attracted thousands of likes on Facebook, hundreds of followers on Twitter and, most importantly, attracted the support of political heavyweights. Naomi’s own MP Rachel Reeves took the case to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office while the European Parliament’s child mediator Roberta Angelilli is working on Naomi’s case following the intervention of Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP for Yorkshire and Humber (Liberal Democrat).
Child abduction specialist, Kate Banerjee, who heads the Jones Myers children’s department said: “The findings of the Office of the Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales will undoubtedly raise questions about why international child abductions are on the increase – and what more can be do to help distraught parents whose children are taken from them.
“Behind these cold and worrying statistics lie heart wrenching stories like Naomi’s and other clients who call on the expertise of our child abduction team. If you are concerned that your child may be at risk of abduction then contact the police immediately and seek legal advice.”