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article imageOp-Ed: Will missing kids be discussed when Polish PM comes to Ottawa? Special

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By KJ Mullins     May 5, 2012 in World
On May 12 Polish Prime Minister, Mr. Donald Tusk will arrive in Canada for the first time. Families with missing children located in Poland are hoping that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will work on their behalf with Tusk while he's in Ottawa.
Tusk will be in Canada to discuss with Prime Minister Harper the possibility of expanding trade with Poland.
Tusk's arrival in Canada takes place the same day as the arrival of Canadian Stephen Watkins in Poland. Watkins will be in the Polish Hague Appeal Court, fighting for the return of his sons Alexander and Christopher.
Poland is one of the nations that have ignores international obligations when it comes to international parental child abductions. For two Toronto fathers caught in the battle of trying to bring their Canadian children home this refusal of Poland to carry through with Hague Court orders has been a costly nightmare.
Watkins has been well documented in his search for his sons Christopher and Alexander. In 2011 the boys' mother was given limited parental rights by Polish Courts after she was reported by the children's school. This took place prior to Canadian Authorities knowing of the “Watkins Missing Children” whereabouts.
Watkins was in Poland during December for the Polish Hague Convention Trial. It should have been a clear-cut case. Watkins had sole custody of the children prior to his ex-wife's alleged abduction of them on March 8, 2009. Instead Polish courts ignored the International Hague Order.
Watkins will be arriving in Poland with two letters from Canadian officials already sent to Polish officials dealing with his case. The National Recognized Missing Children Organization of Poland, ITAKA, will also be addressing the court during his appeal trial.
Watkins said in an email of the situation, "The Polish Hague Convention Trial, which ended in December 15, 2011, refused to return my abducted Canadian sons, who were born in Canada and had never traveled to Poland before. I had been granted sole custody by the Ontario Courts after living with me full time since 2007 prior to their abduction by their non-custodial mother."
Watkins is not alone. Grzegorz Nowacki, a Polish Canadian father from Toronto, is also trying to bring home his child, Aleksander Nowacki, from Poland since May 2011 when he was abducted to Poland by his wife. The Polish judicial system is treating this case as domestic case rather than a Hague Convention case and they are not honoring or respecting Ontario Court Orders. Mr. Nowacki applied for access visitation for his son in Poland during The Hague Court proceedings, but the Polish Judge rejected visitation which is in contravention of The Hague Convention Treaty. Mr. Nowacki also agrees that it is a struggle and injustice to get Poland to follow The Hague Convention Treaty.
Children caught in this battle deal with parental alienation, a form of child abuse. They are ripped out of the world they know and placed in situations that can be dangerous as the parent who abducted them tries to evade capture.
"Poland has a long proven history of being a non-compliant signatory of the Hague Convention Treaty and failing not only ordering the return children but also NOT enforcing the return of children all together. Is this a responsible Canadian decision by the Prime Minister of Canada to work with Poland knowing all this information in advance?," asks Stephen Watkins, "If the Prime Minister of Canada won't do anything... who will fight for the human rights for our Canadian citizens let alone for our Canadian Businesses?"
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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More about Stephen watkins, pm tusk, Missing children, Stephen Harper
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