Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peter Thomas Senese & Carolyn Ann Vlk Publish Highly Informative Open-Tablet E-book To Aide Children & Their Families At Risk Of Child Abduction

Best-selling author Peter Thomas Senese along with child advocate Carolyn Ann Vlk have announced the official E-book publication release of their groundbreaking international child abduction prevention open-tablet resource guide titled ‘The World Turned Upside Down’.

Demonstrating the child abduction prevention advocates ongoing commitment to assist targeted children and their parents against the rapidly expanding criminal act of international parental child kidnapping while also seeking to raise the public’s awareness of the growing epidemic of cross-border child abduction, Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Ann Vlk have made the highly informative ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ available as a free E-book to ensure that the information provided is immediately accessible to those who may desperately need it.

‘The World Turned Upside Down’ by Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Ann Vlk is a unique and extensive resource guide containing significant and relevant information on international child abduction including a series of landmark research studies that will be of great interest to any individual concerned with preventing either domestic or international child abduction, including targeted parents, law enforcement officers, courts, social workers, lawmakers, and other professionals who advocate for children and who are interested in understanding and preventing this serious and dangerous crime against unsuspecting children.

Unique to the child advocates’ efforts, ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ takes shape in the form of a virtual E-book that is expected to be frequently updated with new content, information, and material as relevant and useful information concerning international child abduction becomes available. In essence, ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ (315 pp) is the foundation for what will become a very unique open-tablet cyber-library capable of providing critically important, easily accessible information on international parental child kidnapping to all individuals in need of such information.

Peter Thomas Senese previously created and produced along with Carolyn Vlk the groundbreaking 9-part educational documentary film series on criminal international parental child abduction titled ‘Chasing Parents: Racing Into The Storms Of International Parental Child Abduction’, and is the author of the upcoming critically praised novel on international child abduction titled ‘Chasing The Cyclone’. Mr. Senese commented, “It has been Carolyn and my intent to continue to make a substantially helpful impact for defenseless children and their parents who are targeted by predator parents or others intent on committing the criminal and cruel act of international child kidnapping.   One of the many aspects that makes ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ a unique book is that in its open-tablet E-book format we will be able to add new and relevant material and cross-index this information as it comes to light so individuals in need of the new information will have immediate access to it. What we’re creating is a living E-book that is expected to evolve into a single-resource for the millions of targeted parents, law enforcement officers, lawmakers, and child advocates from around the world who are interested in stopping child abduction.”

Co-Author Carolyn Ann Vlk included, “Peter and I have been extremely committed to raising the public’s awareness on the high-growth and seriousness of the crime of international parental child abduction while also seeking to implement child abduction prevention measures such as the state of Florida’s Child Abduction Prevention Act that is now law, or the implementation of the federal ‘Prevent Departure Program’, which is now a widely dispersed and extremely useful tool used to combat international parental child abduction here in the United States. Our present activity includes creating new legislation that will close the significant abduction and trafficking loopholes associated with the ‘Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative’ that clearly has created a black hole on international abduction and human trafficking We’re actively engaged in creating legislation that will hold non-citizen child abductors accountable for their kidnapping crime with respect to our nation’s immigration policy. And we’re actively seeking solutions that will take a stand against dual-passport issues with respect to a child of duel citizenship possessing a foreign passport when this child has been declared a risk for criminal abduction by one parent.

“In our extensive voluntary child abduction prevention activity together, Peter and I continue to ask the questions, ‘How and why are our children being criminally internationally abducted at such staggering rates, and what can be done about it?” ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ takes into consideration, and offers answers to many facets of these questions while also providing valuable insight on the issues at hand that are based upon our extensive and ongoing research as demonstrated.”

Peter Thomas Senese, reached in Washington, D.C. where he was actively educating policymakers on the proposed WHTI modification legislation added, “Tragically, there is limited social understanding as to the inherent cruel acts of child abuse and serious dangers associated with the pandemic of international parental child abduction. And despite parental child abduction being a federal crime of kidnapping in the United States, as well as in most every other nation, the growth of these malicious acts against children has increased in substantial part due to failures by lawmakers to create child abduction prevention laws, and more glaringly, even greater failures by the judiciary to implement and uphold these laws created in order to protect children from the act of international criminal kidnapping. Thus, in part, it is our hope that ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ sheds further light into just how dangerous a situation we have on our hands, while offering certain solutions that can make a sizeable difference in curtailing the unyielding growth of international parental child abduction and child trafficking. In reality, there are very real solutions that can be implemented that will dramatically reduce the number of criminal abductions, I think the key is to look within at prevention issues, while of course, holding all nations accountable who do not comply with international law.”

According to Carolyn Ann Vlk, “The statistical challenges of this pandemic as published in ‘Crisis In America: International Parental Child Abduction Today’ Peter  Senese and I previously released include the harsh reality that many nations do not even attempt to keep record of how many children are criminally removed from their borders each year. And those nations that do, such as the United States, have only published the ‘reported’ number of cases without providing any insight into what clearly is a much more sizeable number of ‘unreported’ cases of international child abduction.  There are millions of children each year around the world who are targeted for abduction each year, with a substantial number of these children intended to be removed from their native country of origin. In fact, if the growth rate of international parental child abduction continues to rise as projected, in the year 2020 alone the United States will have more children criminally parentally kidnapped from our nation’s borders than can fill a professional baseball stadium!”

The outlook for parents of children criminally kidnapped abroad seeking to reunite with their kidnapped children is tragically alarming.  For instance, there are approximately 200 criminally abducted U.S. and Canadian child-citizens illegally detained in Japan right now. In our history, no U.S. or Canadian child who was abducted from either the U.S. or Canada has ever been returned home. None. Ever. Japan is a black hole of child abduciton where no child has ever been legally brought back. Sadly, there are many black holes.

The title for the publication ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ was created due to the reality that many parents who are targeted for international parental child abduction enter into a nightmarish ordeal where limited help and understanding is found, and the majority of criminally kidnapped children are never returned. Supporting this reality is Janice L. Jacobs, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs for the United States Department of State who writes, "Very few options exist for parents and children who are victims of parental child abduction.” Ms. Jacobs also stated, "Unfortunately, current trends reflect a steady increase in the number of international parental child abduction cases and highlight the urgency of redoubling efforts to promote compliance with [Hague] Convention obligations and encourage additional nations to join the Convention."

Ernie Allen, President and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children has previously stated, "The problem of missing, abducted, trafficked and sexually exploited children is large, growing, under-recognized and under-reported” Mr. Allen observed, “Children are the single most victimized segment of our population.  Even with all of the progress we have made, most Americans still don’t understand that basic fact.  According to Justice Department research, more than 2,000 children will be reported missing in the United States today!" Additionally, Mr. Allen stated, "The numbers are staggering. The tragedies continue and too many children do not make it home.”

Mr. Martin Waage, Director of ABP World Group, a leading global security, investigation and child recovery organization with an incredible track record of participating in the safe reunification of over 200 criminally internationally abducted children with their targeted parents, and who has contributed to ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ states, “Over many years, my organization has seen the rapid increase of criminal international child abductions throughout the world. One of the great challenges we are aware of is that targeted parents who are trying to protect their children from international kidnapping or who have had their child criminally stolen abroad is a lack of cohesive information on what to do if your child is at risk or is stolen. There are, in reality, not many efficient options, and timing is critical. Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Ann Vlk’s remarkable efforts to create this resource will have a substantially beneficial impact on the global community. I applaud their voluntary work and commitment in creating ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ and further acknowledge their ongoing research projects that have an intended end-result to create new laws that will aid children everywhere. International parental child abduction is a well-documented act of child abuse surrounding a series of criminal acts by the abducting, scheming conspirator. ABP World Group looks forward to continuing in our global efforts of preventing this type of crime from occurring against children, as we are committed to adding to the evolution of ‘The World Turned Upside Down’s’ living library”

David B, a father who successfully reunited with his previously abducted child commented, “IPCA is a severe crime against both the child and targeted parent. The malice of an abducting parent is well documented by leading experts and government officials in the United States and elsewhere. The fact is, international child abduction is a criminal act of kidnapping. The severity of this crime can be long lasting for the child. Today, we need to uphold the criminal statutes in place in order to protect our children. Those individuals known to have criminally abducted a child internationally should not be allowed back in the country due to the severity of their crime and the likelihood that they will attempt to re-abducted a child once again: an occurrence that is well documented. ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ is an incredible resource guide that not only will help targeted parents, but will educate policymakers as to just how bad and dangerous this situation really is. The book’s free release and the material contained in it demonstrates how deeply committed and knowledgeable Carolyn and Peter are to helping children everywhere.”

A. Castro, whose child was previously criminally abducted to Europe, successfully reunited with his child, to only need to act again to prevent a second abduction added, “The failure by courts and their judges to understand the gravity of international parental child abduction and the ease of which a parent can criminally abduct a child has led to the substantial spike in the number of tragic abduction cases. The information contained in ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ and the selfless and dedicated efforts of Carolyn Ann Vlk and Peter Thomas Senese to provide assistance to targeted children and parents like myself is incredible. This publication is an extremely helpful resource guide every person involved in child abduction should read.”

Gloria Nyberg, a leading child abduction prevention advocate who has participated in a substantial number of international parental child abduction reunifications and who has acted endlessly to prevent targeted children from becoming victims of criminal child abduction stated, “For many parents who face having a child abducted abroad, the maze of complex legal and personal issues they must immediately attempt to navigate can be devastating. The challenges are magnified many fold due to the fact that most every parent does not expect for this crime against them and their child to happen. They are typically victims of a well-conspired fraudulent plan. By creating ‘The World Turned Upside Down’, Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Vlk are providing the world with yet another very special gift: a remarkable resource guide that will help a tremendous number of people, including parents and children facing this type of crime. Combining this publication with the extensive previous research reports and educational documentary film Peter and Carolyn have previously created or published, along with their tireless effort to create and implement new laws that will serve children everywhere, their efforts have and will continue to bring positive awareness of the dangerous and growing issues at hand.”

Amanda B, a mother presently at risk of having her young children abducted to the Middle East added, “The selfless efforts of Peter and Carolyn have made a direct impact on the safety and welfare of my children. I am grateful for their direct assistance on my and my children’s behalf: today my children are safe at home, and I am extremely grateful. ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ is such a vital resource that parents like myself, who are at risk of having their children internationally abducted, can turn to. It is an incredibly useful tool written by two caring child advocates who give of themselves freely in order to help others.”

Maurizio R, who is presently chasing the nightmarish cyclone of international parental child kidnapping and the incomprehensible legal and prejudicial maze many targeted parents unfairly face while trying to protect their criminally victimized child said, “Thanks to ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ and the admirable efforts of it’s authors Peter Senese and Carolyn Vlk, we have a real manual that tells us in detail a substantial amount about the world of international parental child abduction. As a parent involved in a case of international child abduction, I can say that this book is a precious help to all who are subject to the horror of having a child kidnapped abroad.  And as for Peter, I can say that I found on the other side of the world a person who has opened his heart to me, helped me as I continue to reunite with my child, and who has made me feel less alone in this terrible experience.”

Jill Jones Soderman, PHD the Executive Director of ‘The Foundation For The Child Victims Of The Family Courts’ (501c3), and the Founder of ‘The Family Resolution Center’, located in Chester, New York, which focuses on issues surrounding children, including international child abduction and parental alienation added, “Peter Thomas Senese and Carolyn Ann Vlk have committed a significant portion of their lives and personal resources to the intervention and prevention of child abduction. As part of such efforts, Peter and Carolyn have written one of the most comprehensive, understandable written works bound by groundbreaking and landmark research on a plethora of issues surrounding the criminal act of international child abduction. In ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ Peter Senese and Carolyn Vlk’s commitment toward defenseless children and their targeted parents is undeniable, extraordinarily impactful, and speaks volumes from the loving hearts of Peter Senese and Carolyn Vlk. ‘The Foundation For The Children Victims Of The Family Courts’ looks forward to contributing to the ongoing resource guide ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ as this incredible evolving open-tablet E-book will make a positive difference against the war on international parental child abduction and child abuse.”

‘The World Turned Upside Down’ is available for free download on best-selling author Peter Thomas Senese’s official website, the official website of Senese’s ‘Chasing The Cyclone’, and on numerous websites including ‘International Parental Child Abduction Information’. Also available on these sites is the educational documentary film ‘Chasing Parents: Racing Into The Storms Of International Parental Child Abduction’ created and narrated by Peter Thomas Senese, and co-produced by Carolyn Ann Vlk, along with various helpful information.

Peter Thomas Senese added, “Carolyn and I are pleased to publish the open-tablet E-book ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ as we continue our efforts to prevent the acts of international child abduction.  We recognize that ours are only part of the great effort put forth by a global community interested in protecting children everywhere. We thank all those who have demonstrated leadership in this area, feel deeply for those children who have been victimized by the malicious acts of abduction along with their parents who have or who are chasing the cyclones of child abduction, and look forward to participating in efforts that will create new laws and policies focused on protecting targeted children and their parents from abduction.”

I CARE Foundation Urges Lawyers In Texas, Nevada, Arizona & New Mexico Sought To Join Department of State's "Attorney Network"

The International Child Abduction Research & Education Foundation (I CARE Foundation) has launched a recruitment campaign urging attorneys located in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada to join the United States Department of State's Hague Convention Attorney Network ("Attorney Network") - and help protect innocent children victimized or targeted by international parental child abduction (IPCA). Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada are hotbeds for IPCA due to a significant increase in reported and unreported parental kidnapping cases to and from Mexico and remaining Central America. The Department Of State's recruitment of attorneys in these states is due to the rise in abduction cases, combined with their effort to educate undocumented parents living in the United States who have been victimized by child abduction that they and their abducted children have protective rights under the Hague Convention.

The I CARE Foundation is urging lawyers in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada interested in assisting parents of children who have been internationally abducted or who may be targets of international parental abduction to participate in the Department of State's "Hague Convention Attorney Network" according to Peter Thomas Senese, a director of the foundation. "In order to prevent child abduction, the reality is lawyers educated on the complex issues of international child abduction need to be mobilized within the Department of State's attorney network. When this occurs, there will be significant opportunity to educate a less than knowledgeable judiciary who are too often unfamiliar with the complexities typically present in these cases. Additionally, and of equal importance, particularly in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada is the need for undocumented individuals living in the United States to know that if their child is abducted from the United States, they have major recourse under the Hague Convention, and that the Department of State's Office of Childrens Issues is ready, willing, and able to assist them.
The Office of Children's Issues in the U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the "Convention"). The International Child Abduction Remedies Act ("ICARA"), establishes procedures for litigating Convention cases in the U.S. The U.S. Central Authority has numerous functions including facilitating the institution of judicial proceedings in the U.S. "with a view to obtaining the return of the child and, in a proper case, to make arrangements for organizing or securing the effective exercise of rights of access." In April of 2008, the U.S.Central Authority assumed the responsibility for all incoming cases, and overseeing a network of volunteer attorneys.

The "Attorney Network" provides critical assistance. Lawyers that join the "Attorney Network" are asked to consider taking Hague Convention return and access cases on a pro bono or reduced fee basis. There is never an obligation to take a case, and legal fees and expenses may be recoverable under the Convention's Article 26 and the implementing statute (42.U.S.C 11607), and under state law when state law remedies are pursued (e.g., UCCJEA). In addition, lawyers with and without Hague experience are welcome to join the Attorney Network, as the Attorney Network offers a host of information and mentor programs. In addition to incoming cases of abduction, attorneys can also represent parents in abduction prevention cases and outgoing abduction cases.

Presently, there are over 1,640 'reported' cases of IPCA originating from the United States according to the last published report issued from the Department of State to Congress. The number of cases has nearly tripled from 2006 to 2009 alone according to a recent report issued by the Government Accountability Office's ("GAO"). According to I CARE, the number of 'unreported cases' of IPCA appears to be substantial and at least equal the number and growth rate of 'reported' cases.. Many of the 'unreported' cases appear to involve immigrants who originate from Central and South American, and Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada (along with California) clearly have a high-volume of incoming and outgoing cases.

Peter Thomas Senese added, "Overall growth rate of IPCA is conservatively estimated to be between 15% - 20% per year, and there could be well over 100,000 children abducted from the United States between 2009 and 2020 if current trends conservatively stay the same."

As the growing rate of abduction and the shortage of trained attorneys becomes more well known, key media voices in the legal community have recently come to support I CARE's recruitment campaign for attorneys to join the Department of State's "Attorney Program." Aware of the growing crisis in Connecticut, the Connecticut Law Tribune(CLT) recently published an important article concerning this issue.

Patricia M. Lee, a Florida attorney practicing in the area of parental child abduction and a Director of the I CARE Foundation who was interviewed by the CLT states, “I feel privileged to have been a referral attorney for the implementing agency for many years of my private practice. The trauma experienced by victimized children and parents when faced with a child abduction, especially in the international arena, is overwhelming, primarily due to the lack of experienced attorneys, but also, due to the great financial burden, and cultural and language barriers. When they have nowhere else to turn and are so desperate, being able to help these people has been a rewarding experience personally, as well as professionally. It is worth every hour I have spent climbing the learning curve in this little known area of the law. OCI has always been responsive and helpful in the practicalities of dealing with clients living abroad, and the network of mentor attorneys available across the U.S., nothing short of a wealth of information and assistance. My experience in taking these cases has been humbling, to say the least, as I have seen the very best of my profession, which is too often the object of jokes and derision. I would encourage any attorney to join the Attorney Network.”

Joel S. Walter, an lawyer practicing in New York, a member of the I CARE Foundation, and a Director of the Attorney Network said, "As a lawyer practicing complex cases primarily in federal court for over 30 years, it is astonishing to learn of the tragedies children of abduction and their targeted parents face. In joining the Department of State's "Attorney Network", I have an opportunity to give back to our community, and make a difference in the life of a child. Participating in the network is not just good lawyering, but it is good citizenship. The I CARE Foundation looks forward to assisting the Department of State by educating other lawyers about the attorney network in hope that they too may participate in this critical program."

Denise Gunn Garno, a Naples, Florida based lawyer practicing primarily complex family law matters and who is a member of the Department Of State's Hague Convention Attorney Network commented on the significance of lawyers from Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada to join the 'Attorney Network' when she stated, "Florida's new CAPA law presents a challenge to attorneys attempting to ensure CAPA is applied in cases wherein children are in imminent danger of abduction. A lack of judicial awareness is extremely detrimental as it puts children's lives in jeopardy. In order for the State of Florida and our nation to protect our children from abduction, we must not only create abduction prevention laws, but the rules of law must be adhered to. My participation in the Department of State's Hague Convention Attorney Network will make a difference in the lives of my clients and hopefully the children targeted of this crime from my home state."

Carolyn Ann Vlk, writer of Florida's CAPA law and a director of I CARE said, "The reality is that laws that have been established to protect children are not followed in part due to an uneducated judiciary. The way to remedy this is to have informed litigators who can make a difference before the courts. Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona have a high case load and clearly attorneys are needed by the Department of State to join their "Attorney Network."

An extensive report to be published by I CARE this December puts the cost of IPCA in the United States over the next 10 years at over 1.6 Billion dollars.

If you are a lawyer interested in finding out more about the Hague Convention Attorney Network, please visit or call 202-501-4444. To learn more about international parental child abduction please visit

Monday, August 1, 2011


I am very pleased to announce today the free E-book publication of THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN: International Parental Child Abduction by Peter Thomas Senese with special contributions by Carolyn Ann Vlk. 

THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN by Peter Thomas Senese with Carolyn Ann Vlk is an extensive resource guide presently 315 pages in length containing significant information and landmark reports and research studies that will be useful for all individuals, including targeted parents, law enforcement officers, courts, and lawmakers interested in understanding and preventing international parental child abduction or human trafficking.

What is dynamic about THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN outside of the fact that the content and material contained within the book is that THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN takes shape in the form of a virtual E-book that is intended to be updated with new content, information, and material as relevant material and information becomes available. In essence, THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN is the foundation for a very unique cyber-library with the intent of providing critically important information for all individuals in need of information regarding child abduction.

In keeping with my goal of being able to offer to the world-at-large relevant, timely, and important information that may protect innocent children targeted for international abduction, it was my desire to make this extensive publication free-of-charge to all who desire to read it. THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN is available online as a free download in a PDF file format. Both Carolyn Ann Vlk’s and my child abduction prevention advocacy is done on a volunteer basis.

Making THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN free of charge is similar to the free extensive documentary film series titled ‘CHASING PARENTS: Racing Into the Storms of International Parental Child Abduction’ I have created that continues to educate a substantial number of individuals from around the world on the growing epidemic of criminal child abduction.

On behalf of Carolyn Ann Vlk and myself, I hope that the information contained in THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN will be of help to you.

Peter Thomas Senese