In the EU approximately 130 000 international couples file for divorce annually. 23.2% of the cases handled by the hotlines for missing children in 2017 were cases of parental abductions. 55.7% of these cases were cross-border in nature.

The Cross-border Family Mediators Network was launched in 2012 by the Belgian NGO Child Focus and the German NGO Mediation bei internationalen Kindschaftskonflikten (MiKK), with the support of the Dutch Centre for International Child Abduction, in the framework of an EU funded project. The network is based on a training and cross-border family mediation model developed in cooperation with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

In 2014, the coordination of the network was handed over to Missing Children Europe, the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children which represents 31 organisations from 27 European countries. Missing Children Europe coordinates a network of hotlines for missing children, now operational in 32 countries through the same telephone number 116 000.

As permanent members of the Task Force, MiKK as well as Child Focus, still play an important role in the preparation of the mission, strategy and activities of Cross-Border Family Mediators. Furthermore, MiKK is considered the main partner of CBFM in the creation and organisation of trainings in cross-border family mediation.



REGISTER: Cross-Border Family Mediation Training (CBFM) on 22-28 September 2019 in Berlin, Germany
This 50-hour advanced training course aims to qualify practicing family mediators to mediate cross-border family disputes, including international child abduction, access and custody cases. The course will cover the relevant legal aspects of international family conflicts, differences in national family legislation, the 1980 and 1996 Hague Conventions, the Brussels II bis Regulation as well as the...

VOICE – project
Recent research (Bouncing Back; ensuring the wellbeing of children in case of international child abduction, 2017) has shown that children were positive about the possibility of being heard.

Family mediation: a successful solution in child abduction cases
Today marks the beginning of International Mediation Week which aims to promote the importance of family mediation in parental abduction cases. Despite its success rate, mediation remains a solution that is not sufficiently used in Europe.