Padres y Madres Separados

Ayuda práctica, jurídica y psicológica padres, madres, separados, divorciados e hijos


Dear All,

Amnesty-4-Families is a group geared to helping families broken by culpable state action or inaction, for children denied access to one or both their parents, or with their parenting time so reduced or undermined that their relationships are at risk. The group holds to the belief that children have a right to the care of both their natural parents, in equal human dignity, which must be upheld by the state.

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This is a project close to my heart which I have been discussing with some of you in private over the last few weeks. I believe the time is right to present it for the widest possible redistribution (and translation please) - please - to other lists and individuals worldwide, in order to receive critical appraisal, advice and participation.

To cut to the quick, please join the newly formed yahoogroup Amnesty-4-Families (,, which appears in the same human rights category as Amnesty International itself. Amnesty International seems to have some difficulty in accommodating the concept that the human right to both parents ... and the torturous results of denial of this human right, is something that they should be at all concerned with.

We need participants at all levels, people who can write letters of support, and those who can offer webspace and technical or legal expertise. By helping others, perhaps in the same situation as ourselves, we can motivate others to reach out and help us.

Reproduced below is the group description of Amnesty-4-Families, followed by some brief notes on how it will work.


Amnesty-4-Families is a group geared to helping families broken by culpable state action or inaction, for children denied access to their parents, or with their parenting time so reduced or undermined that their relationships are at risk. The group is here to support parents and their children, from abroad if necessary, each individual case being adopted by a small cell or support group.

Support is in the form of letters of support to the parents and children affected, and letters to custodial parents, abductors and office-holders, informing them that their names and deeds are on record, as are the relevant breaches of human rights law, so that they may be held responsible for what they have done and what they now do.

This form of support is particularly important in countries where it is totally illegal to break the secrecy of the family courts, as well as countries where the state fails to correctly estimate the importance or properly safeguard the presence of both parents, as equals, in a child’s life. It is intended that these actions will cultivate purposeful collaboration, empowering all of us to defend our own families by reaching out to others, on a mutually reciprocal basis where appropriate, and on a small scale within a larger framework of common human decency and solidarity.

.................................... The egroup is not intended to supplant other initiatives, but to apply the same pressure on internal, state-permitted child abductions as on child abductions between states, or not authorised by the state.

To flesh this out a little, at this very early juncture, I made the following notes.

As some of you will be aware, I believe that changes towards equal parenting* will inevitably bring to the fore the issue of the many, many familes already broken by the state. However, many of us are still alive, and will hopefully continue to live. We need to have this injustice recognised, to reunite and reignite our faith in humanity.

We need solidarity from those who still know their children/parents, or have met them again, from those with little faith in the resolution of their own family trauma, but with goodwill towards others, from those who have their children/parents now with them, albeit infrequently, just as we show solidarity for the rights of those of future families, or of families whose travails in family court hell absorb every waking moment as I write.

The bare bones of structural requirements are:

- an organisational listserve:-

- extra-jurisdictional case-groups, for each state-broken family, ideally of about 3-4 people, having at least one person with email access

- fact-checking teams, inside the child-abducting state, who can help verify and gather the required information, ie the names and case details

- legal backup and advice

- family reunification/reintegration and torture rehabilitation work, of the type already well known and practised in international and in paticular Hague child-abduction cases

There are a number of such schemes already in play, but very few geared to dealing with cases of state-authorised internal child removal - and this is the point - the right to enjoy family life, with both one's natural parents, is universal. The fact that the knowledge-base on countering child abduction exists, but is not yet applied without fear or favour in all areas, means that rather than reinventing the wheel, we can take wheels from other vehicles, already in existence.

Your sincerely,

Julian Fitzgerald

Julian Fitzgerald
56 Louis Street
Leeds LS7 4BN, UK
T: +44 (0113) 229 8949

*French speakers can review the following comparative study of family law throughout the EU, drafted, I believe, as part of a French governmental initiative, which specifically acknowledges that the drive towards equal parenting in the EU is well-nigh universal, inexorable and if anything gathering pace.