Stop 'local abductions' in divorce cases

The move by the Family Justice Courts and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority to put in place measures to prevent children from being spirited away from Singapore when their parents' relationship sours is a step in the right direction (Move to stop child abduction by a parent; Jan 20).

However, concerns have also been raised over cases of children being "abducted", when one parent denies the other access to the child, without having to leave the country (Tackle practice of denying kids access to other parent in divorce cases, by Mr Gordon Quek; March 19, 2018).

Such "local abductions" subject young children to no less trauma and psychological harm than their overseas equivalents.

As the Family Justice Courts' former presiding judge Valerie Thean said previously, children who are snatched from the other parent can suffer mental health issues, such as depression and psychotic episodes, even into their adulthood.

I urge the Government and courts to send a strong signal against such behaviour, and take firm action against parents and lawyers who engage in such practices.

Heather Lim (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2019, with the headline 'Stop 'local abductions' in divorce cases'. Print Edition | Subscribe