What is a child abduction?

When an international family conflict escalates, it can lead to a child abduction, which occurs when children are taken to or kept in a country other than their normal residence by a parent against the will of the other. To prevent and resolve these abductions, Missing Children Europe coordinates the network of Cross-Border Family Mediators (CBFM) - a growing network of ca. 200 trained, bi-cultural mediators that represent 40 countries across the world. They are trained to engage directly with parents to find a solution that reflects the specific family situation.

Facts & Figures

On average around 1248

of International Child Abductions are reported each year.


of solved cases are thanks to either full or partial mediation agreements.

Mediation is 60%

cheaper and 7 times faster than a court proceeding (on average 43 days instead of 18 months).



The project aims to contribute to a better understanding and case handling of international child abduction cases.

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The project aims to enhance the wellbeing of children at all stages of an international child abduction: from the start of the case until the enforcement and after return.

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The project focused on informing judges, legal professionals and mediators on how to assess the best interest of the child in International Child Abduction cases.

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This project involved a large-scale research study on the psychological effects of an international child abduction on the wellbeing of abducted children.

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BRUSSELS IIa regulation: Mediation between parents and listening to children in court cases affecting them makes all the difference (14.10.2018) – News

Family mediation: a successful solution in child abduction cases (14.10.2018) – News

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