In the summer of 2021, 9-year-old Margot went to Portugal to visit her father who had been granted visiting rights after her parents split up in 2013. At the end of the trip, her father refused to bring her back home to her mother in France and planned to apply for custody of Margot in Portugal.

After Margot was abducted, her mother contacted the French hotline for missing children to ask for help. A case manager from 116 000 Enfants Disparus advised her to file a petition for the return of her daughter based on the 1980 Hague Convention. Six months later, the father’s custody proceedings in Portugal were halted, as the judge in Portugal recognised that the retention was wrongful and that Margot had to return to her mother in France.

Once the ruling was out, the father tried to escape, taking Margot to another city, but he was located by the authorities. In December 2021, Margot’s mother could finally bring her back home to France. Margot has returned to school and is receiving psychological support. 116 000 Enfants Disparus facilitates mutual support groups for parents and children involved in international child abduction which Margot and her mother can continue to benefit from if they need them.

*The young person’s name has been changed for protection purposes