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vulnerable and open, that it was as if she had no skin on her body.

There is some evidence in the parent interviews, as well as very substantial anecdotal evidence, to suggest that the lack of contact between abducted children and the left-behind parent is often deliberately contrived by the abducting parent in the hope that that child will forget the left-behind parent.50 This, in some cases, results from ignorance and misunderstanding and, when diligent and experienced lawyers are involved, who explain the likely consequences on a return to the State of habitual residence that such a lack of receptiveness to contact might invoke, many parents become more generous to the concept of contact during this time. A hard core of parents do not respond in this way and, in this respect, those parents who continue to reject contact to the left-behind parent are thinking in such crude terms that they are not understanding the whole purpose of the Hague Convention, i.e. to restore the child speedily to the State of habitual residence for litigation to take place, rather than the detailed resolution of the welfare issues concerning the child. This is parental alienation in its most extreme form and is deeply counter productive. It might be argued that abductors are, by definition, alienators but such alienation does not usually work. In most cases, the child(ren) will be returned and the rejection of contact will often count against the abductor in subsequent welfare proceedings. In the extremely rare cases where a return order is not made, such alienation will only work where contact is not ensured between the child and the left behind parent and, in these circumstances, it is imperative that efforts are made to secure contact arrangements between the child and the left behind parent in line with the best interests of the individual child. The Revised Brussels 11 Regulation toughens up the Hague Convention in European cases allowing for the reliable enforcement of Hague Convention principles so it may be that, within this context, it becomes less likely that abducting parents will want to run the tactical risk of refusing

50

See Adult Findings, supra.

47

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