Increase in child abductions over summer vacation

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(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)

This year 36 children did not return from summer vacation because they were abducted by one of their parents, according to international child abduction center IKO. This number has been increasing steadily over the past years. In 2014 a total of 19 kids were abducted by a parent during summer vacation, last year it was 34, RTL Nieuws reports.

According to IKO, these kind of abductions happen after a divorce, for example. Or if the parents can't agree in which country their children should be raised. Summer vacation is then used to force the decision.

The youngest child abducted this year is 6 months old, the oldest 15 years. 27 of the kids were abducted by their mother, the other nine by their father. Most of the children were kidnapped from Zuid-Holland. Five were taken to Poland, four each to Morocco and Turkey, and three each to Armenia, Curacao and Italy. Where the others are, is unclear.

According to IKO, these abductions don't only leave the left-behind parents in an emotional mess, but also cause practical problems. "Left behind parents may have problems with the attendance officer. Of the children who did not return after summer, 25 are of school age", the organization said, according to RTL. The IKO gives these parents legal assistance with regards to informing the attendance officer about their child's absence. The center also provides information to teachers and schools, who have to explain to pupils why their classmates did not come back. 

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