Child abduction reports in Netherlands on the rise

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

The number of children being abducted from the Netherlands to other countries increased for the third year in a row in 2017. The number of threatened abductions also increased, according to figures from the center for international child abductions IKO, NOS reports.

Last year IKO counted 288 child abductions, and nearly 500 cases in which there were threats to kidnap a child. In 2016 there were 251 abductions and 443 threats, and in 2015 it was 237 and 375. 

In 70 percent of the cases, the kidnapper is the mother of the child. "People are often surprised about this", Coskun Coruz, director of IKO, said to NOS. "The mother is often the caretaker. If she comes from abroad and her relationship falls apart, she often takes her children along when she returns home. Mothers do not see that as abduction, but once that happens without permission, it is indeed the case."

Around half of the abducted children eventually return home, according to Coruz. But if the children are taken to a country that hasn't signed the international convention for child abduction, getting the child back is often very difficult. India is one such country, where was taken by her father. 

Children abducted from the Netherlands are most often taken to Germany, Poland and Belgium. Abducted children brought to the Netherlands most often come from Belgium, the United Kingdom and Germany.