Federal Statutes on Kidnapping

Parents, guardians, and adults who care for children face constant challenges when trying to help keep children safer in today’s fast-paced world.  Congress has enacted many civil and criminal laws to address Abduction and kidnapping and interstate and international child custody and visitation disputes.  The United States is also party to a treaty aimed at resolving international child abduction case.

The following are some of the Federal Statutes on Kidnapping:

Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act (PROTECT ACT):The Act authorizes law-enforcement authorities tools to detect, investigate, and punish crimes committed against children. America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alert provisions calling for the national coordination of state and local AMBER Alert programs is an example of such powerful tools.

Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction: The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980) establishes procedures to ensure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in a country other than that of their habitual residence.

International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42 USC 11601: The Act implements the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and authorizes state and federal courts to hear cases under the Convention.

Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA), 28 USC 1738 A: The Act assures that full faith and credit is given to child-custody determinations. States may honor and enforce custody determinations made in other states as long as certain requirements listed by the Act are satisfied.

Missing Children Act, 28 USC 534: The Act authorizes the attorney general to collect and exchange information that would assist in the identification of unidentified deceased individuals and the location of missing persons, including missing children.

Missing Children’s Assistance Act, 42 USC 577: The Act directs the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to establish and operate a national toll-free telephone line for missing children and a national resource center and clearinghouse.

National Child Search Assistance Act, 42 USC 5779-80: The National Child Search Assistance Act of 1990 requires each federal, state, and local law-enforcement agency to enter information about missing children younger than the age of 18 into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. The Act also establishes state reporting requirements.

Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act: The Act amended a portion of the National Child Search Assistance Act to mandate law enforcement entry of information about missing and abducted children into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database within two hours of receipt of the report.

International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act (IPKCA), 18 USC 1204: The International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act of 1993 makes it a federal crime to remove a child from the United States or retain a child, who has been in the United States, outside the United States with the intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act : Apart from  jurisdiction in interstate custody and visitation cases, the Act authorizes public officials to play a role in civil child custody enforcement and cases involving the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.


Inside Federal Statutes on Kidnapping