HC Deb 26 June 1995 vol 262 c494W
Sir John Stanley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to ensure that the removal of travel controls and documentation for EU nationals travelling between EU countries does not lead to an increased risk of child abduction from the United Kingdom. [30386]

Mr. Nicholas Baker

[holding answer 22 June 1995]: Operational responsibility at ports and airports for identifying children who may have been abducted is a matter for the police. The Immigration Service gives every assistance, where embarkation controls make this practicable, to draw to the attention of the police departing children who may be in this category. As the under-Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Bexhill and Battle (Mr. Wardle), announced on 15 December 1993, Official Report, column 655, in response to a question from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton (Sir. I Lawrence), embarkation controls are not routinely carried out on purely intra-EU traffic except where there is reason to believe that someone of interest to the police in connection with serious crime is likely to leave the country by a particular route.

Where a child is successfully abducted to a country which is a signatory to the Hague convention, an extradition warrant may be issued. If the country is not a signatory to the convention, the existing channels of communication and co-operation between the relevant police forces are used to seek the return of the abducted child.