I Am One of The Luckiest Men On The Planet!

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I make my living through an assortment of investments in businesses that I have an interest in, as well as being a best-selling author who has had every hardcover book release put into publication get listed on a noteworthy best-seller list – thought my income from my book earnings for more than a year has been completely donated to the I CARE Foundation that was established to help stop international parental child abduction.

As the Founding Director of the I CARE Foundation, I am very proud of the tremendous work the organization’s esteemed Board of Directors and Advisory Board has done thus far in helping reunite or prevent the abduction of dozens of children.  Our ongoing research in this are combined with out outreach initiatives to help build a large national pro bono network of attorneys has been very important in the war against abduction.  So too has been our legislative and policy initiatives.

Fortunately, I have been blessed with the ability of managing my extensive professional obligations and commitments in a way that allows me to also dedicate significant time to the I CARE Foundation and the children and parents we serve.

And I have to say, I would not have it any other way.  Why?

Because there is so much genuine love that floats around the foundation.

Seriously.  And it is not just with the families we have helped, but equally, this love is shared (and so valued) with other advocates who have stepped up to help these at-risk families.

I can’t say how blessed I have become to be part of something so special.  In the depths of hell that is international parental child abduction was cast a small but growing family connected by an acute sense of compassion, understanding, and commitment to one another.

I never expected seven years ago for my family to expand the way it has.  I never expected to have as many amazing – amazing – nieces and nephews – but I do . . . and knowing that they are safe . . . and knowing that they will never be abducted again is so incredibly rewarding.

Life provides each of us with many blessings.   And there is no question I feel as if I am one of the luckiest men on the planet.

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Be Aware of the Dangers of Cruise Ships During Christmas: International Parental Child Abduction

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DISNEY CRUISE SHIPS, CARNIVAL CRUISE SHIPS, ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE SHIPS, NORWEGIAN CRUISE SHIPS, PRINCESS CRUISE SHIPS
&
INTERNATIONAL PARENTAL CHILD ABDUCTION

Cruise Ship Travel during the Christmas Holiday Season is one of the easist way for a parent to internationally abduct a child from the other parent.

Parents really need to be aware of the grave risks associated with allowing a child to travel on a cruise ship with the other parent during high-conflict seperation or divorce situations, particularly when the parent intending to travel on a cruise ship has deep ties to another country and may be planning an abduction (See Warning Signs).

Remember, most international parental child abductions that occur are well-hatched plans carefully created and schemed by an abducting parent.  Their aim is to throw you off guard so you would never expect or realize an abduction is being planned.  During the Holiday Season, part of the deceit that occurs happens when a would-be abductor portrays a civil and peaceful desire to work together as parents, or, to rebuild a broken relationship.  And though this may be true in certain cases, it is also a scenario used to throw a targeted parent off-guard.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative has created a large number of loopholes that help facilitate abduction, including the use of cruise ships to  kidnap children.  Please read this report.

Should you have any further questions, please contact the I CARE Foundation.

Click To Download A PDF File Of The WHTI Report

INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE

International Parental Child Abduction and Human Trafficking Prevention Report In Correspondence To The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative And Other Related Abduction Prevention Challenges Faced By The United States And Its Neighboring Countries.

Written By Peter Thomas Senese Carolyn Ann Vlk

Overview

Since beginning our work together on child abduction prevention we have remained actively involved in advocacy and education in this area. Recently our research has led us to uncover significant border control security vulnerabilities that we believe are currently being utilized in illegally transporting children across U.S. borders in both incoming and outgoing parental abduction cases as well as being capitalized by smugglers who trade in human life.

Our findings are a cause of great concern.

The purpose of the following report is to bring these facts to the forefront of targeted and victimized parents of international parental child abduction, activists involved in the war against human trafficking, leaders of non-governmental agencies, lawyers practicing family or human rights law, all levels of law enforcement, the judiciary responsible for our nation’s children, our local, state and federal legislative policymakers, and all government agencies responsible with oversight as they are related to cross-border child abduction and human trafficking. It is our hope that our findings will cause both short and long-term preventative steps and solutions to be taken at all necessary levels so that we may work together to further protect our nation’s children. To put it mildly, we have a serious, growing, and immeasurable problem on our hands, and its far-reaching tentacles lash out at society’s greatest resource: our children.

Our initial research evolved around the question “How are children illegally abducted into and out of the United States and our adjacent neighboring countries despite preventive measures that may be in place either by court order or by preventive laws and programs?”

The answers to this question varies and includes, but is not limited to a lack of or failure to uphold child abduction prevention laws, inept courts and uneducated or naïve judges who fail to consider abduction risk or fail to carry out the intent of the laws they oversee in order to protect the welfare of a child, carefully-orchestrated abduction plans conceived well in advance by an abducting parent or trafficker, or flaws in the legal system that enable would-be abductors to capitalize on various loopholes so that they may steal a child across international borders. Many of these issues have previously been well documented. Thus, we directed our investigation toward the possibility of whether there are any existing loopholes in present law. Specifically, do opportunities presently exist that enable abductors and traffickers to steal and transport children despite our government’s legal efforts to prevent cross-border child stealing from occurring?

Dual Citizenship

Our conclusions acknowledge the existence of cross-border child abduction via individuals who possess dual-citizenship, which enables them to possess foreign passports. Often, the children of these individuals possess dual nationality as well and may be issued a passport by another country. The Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues alerts parents to the possibility that “Your child might also be a citizen of another country (dual nationality),” and offers the following information on the subject of dual nationality. “The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy. Individuals may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.” Conversely, a child born in the U.S. to a citizen of another country may automatically acquire citizenship of that country or in some cases the parent may apply for the child to be granted citizenship.

How Are Children Illegally Abducted Into And Out Of The United States

Security flaws that can lead to our children becoming victimized include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Failures by courts and judges to properly assess abduction risk and attach court orders that would preempt international child stealing; and,
  2. Failure to create or uphold present child abduction prevention laws or other laws created to protect our children’s safety; and,
  3. Identity and travel documentation fraud; and,
  4. A lack of uniform requirements for travel documentation when departing or entering the U.S.; and,
  5. The ability under present law to easily illegally transport children under age 16 across borders during land and sea travel; and,
  6. Human error during verification of travel documents by CBP at a point-of-entry or departure; and,
  7. Failures by law enforcement to act expeditiously to a potential abduction threat; and,
  8. Inefficient communication and data sharing between government agencies responsible to assist in preventing or resolving an international child abduction case; and,
  9. The deficiency by our federal government to create and interlink a children’s travel alert, travel restriction data base consisting of real-time family court decisions at the state level with all U.S. border control agencies and transport companies similar to capabilities available through the Prevent Departure Program; and,
  10. A lack of or outdated or underutilized state or federal laws and programs that fail to prevent the abduction of a child and in fact may enable an abduction to occur.

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)

Our research drew us to focus on the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).

Under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the WHTI was designed to strengthen border security and is a joint Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) plan that is carried out in part by the U.S. Customs Border Protection Agency (CBP). The intent of the initiative is to further protect and strengthen our nation’s borders by requiring all travelers to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda to present a WHTI compliant document that establishes identity and citizenship.

During the course of our investigation it became apparent that there is limited available research or data concerning international parental child abduction or human trafficking as it relates to travel document requirements for children crossing into contiguous countries by land or sea under WHTI policy. However, what is certain is that child abductions and human trafficking to our bordering nations of Mexico and Canada represent a great number of ‘reported’ international abductions and missing person cases originating from the United States. Additionally, we believe that a vast majority of ‘unreported’ child abduction cases are associated with Mexico and Canada. Our findings are cause for grave concern. It is clear that due to the varying travel documentation requirements for land and sea travel that there exist substantial loopholes in U.S. law that allow would-be abductors or traffickers to capitalize on the porous travel documentation requirements for children.
Today, very serious security gaps exist directly related to WHTI, especially as it pertains to a child’s travel document requirements. These stunning flaws and loopholes provide substantial opportunity for illegal cross-border family or stranger child abductions and human trafficking to occur to and from the United States. Continue reading

Consider Donating To Catholic Charities During Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

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Over the past week, many of us have been playing our part best we can to help those who have been heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Many of my friends and readers from around the world have written to me asking how they can help, and who needs the help most.

From my viewpoint, obviously everyone affected needs assistance; however, there are a few groups that may need the most help.  They include:

1. Undocumented residents.  Many of these individuals living in the New York area have young children.

2. Residents who rent.  Many of these individuals, including a large number of families with children, are not receiving the aid and relief they need, particularly since they have no insurance.

In trying to determine which organizations that may be best to provide support to, I have concluded that Catholic Charities would be my first recommendation to give support. Please consider visiting their website or calling directly at 718.722.6202.

Here is why:

  • They are presently operating in some of the most impacted areas of Hurricane Sandy – meaning they are at the forefront of the battleline.
  • Thought they are ‘Catholic Charities’, they do not consider one’s religious beliefs when providing aid: they help everyone.
  • They have been around a very long time, and have a tremendous reputation of helping others.

Obviously finanical donations are important and can be sent directly to Catholic Charities by visiting their website or call 718.722.6202.

As for supplies, this is what they are looking for right now:

  1. New Sleeping Bags and blankets
  2. Baby Daipers
  3. Baby Formula and canned food
  4. Socks for adults and children
  5. Underwear for adults and children
  6. Flashlights and batteries
  7. Cleaning Supplies
  8. Peanut Butter
  9. Cans of Tuna
  10. Coats and Jackets
  11. Gloves and Hats
  12. Thermal Underwear
  13. Rain Gear

Large Product Donation Note: If you are an group or organization that might be able to send a large supply of these items, I suggest that you direct them to Catholic Charities Central Distribution Center, which so happens to be in Rockaway, Queens, which is one of the areas most impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

The Acting Central Distribution Center Address is:

St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish
1920 New Haven Ave
Far Rockaway, New York 11691
* The individual in charge of distribution is Mr. Sheldon Peters.  He can be reached at 347.585.7734.

Other Locations You Can Send Supplies To:

In Brooklyn:

Blessed Virgin Mary of the Visitation
98 Richards Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

The Shrine Church of Our Lady Of Solace
2866 West 17th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11224

In Queens:

St. Helen’s Church
157-10 83rd Street
Howard Beach, NY 11414

In Staten Island

Catholic Charities
120 Anderson Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10202
Phone Number: 347.447.6330

The Examiner: Peter Thomas Senese and the I CARE Foundation

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Recently the Examiner published a fairly detailed article about my volunteer work with the I CARE Foundation and my efforts to help children fighting cancer or who are targeted for international parental child abduction.

The published story has a theme that I appreciate outside of my advocacy work, and that is books really can and do make a big difference in our lives.  Chasing The Cyclone has done that for a large and growing number of parents.

I invite you to read the Examiner story.

In the meantime, I urge all parents, particularly those involved in multi-cultural relationships that show signs of previous or ongoing strain to remember that the Christmas Holiday Season is a heightened time of the year when children get internationally abducted.  Please do not think this issue is not important to you – most every parent who has had their child stolen by the other parent didn’t feel it was important either; however, with as many as 125,000 American and 20,000 Canadian children expected to be internationally abducted over the next 10 years – it is worth 2 minutes of your time to understand.

I invite you to read more about the Christmas Holiday Season and Child Abduction.

Chasing The Cyclone, Peter Thomas Senese and The I CARE Foundation Protects Children

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Chasing The Cyclone
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Peter Thomas Senese

I am pleased to share my deeply inspired novel Chasing The Cyclone continues to have a significant impact on a large and growing number of children and targeted parents of international abduction.  In fact, the natural progress of events beginning from the initial e-book publication of Chasing The Cyclone led to the creation of the not-for profit I CARE Foundation I am the Founding Director of.  I am happy to share that through the efforts of the I CARE Foundation dozens of children who have either been internationally kidnapped or who have been targeted for international abduction have either been safely reunited with their families or were actually protected from abduction, and remain safely home.

This is a fairly significant statement when considering that the foundation’s volunteer reunification efforts represents a sizeable percentage of all American children coming home (our efforts to reunite children kidnapped to America are also noteworthy).

With 100,000 to 125,000 American children and nearly 20,000 Canadian children expected to be internationally kidnapped over the next 10 years, the success of Chasing The Cyclone and the I CARE Foundation is tempered by the reality that there is a long way to go. This notion is underscored by the reality that only 10% of all internationally kidnapped children come home. Think about it for a moment: three professional baseball stadiums filled with defenseless children – all disappearing.  The majority of children will never come home. Some simply can’t: they are gone forever.

And this sentiment is not a piece of fiction: it is reality.  And it sucks. And it is worth standing up and fighting for.

I think for any author, the biggest goal when writing any book is to have an impact on your intended audience.  The financial success of a book is obviously important; however, the desire to influence others is the real desire.

And with dozens of children either rescued or protected from abduction thus far, combined with the many initiatives the I CARE Foundation has under way that will further help others, I am pleased with Chasing The Cyclone’s impact thus far.

The American Flag
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U.S. Senate Citation

Having seen first-hand the horrors of abduction, I am committed to continuing fighting this fight.  Fortunately, governments from around the world are taking notice of the I CARE Foundation’s work – which means we’re making a difference.

In fact, it was a tremendous honor and humbling experience to receive this majestic American Flag flown over the United States Capitol Building at the request of the Senate in appreciation for my volunteer work and support of the I CARE Foundation.

Additionally, last month I had the opportunity to participate in the United State’s Department of State’s ‘International Visitor Leadership Program’ at the United State’s Mission to the United Nations concerning the foundation’s advanced work in child abduction and human trafficking prevention.  It was a great honor, particularly when considering some of the incredible global leaders who have previously participated in the program.

Unquestionably, the publication of ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ has helped many parents and children:  new laws have been passed, new policies implemented, and new legislation that could help stop abduction and trafficking is on the horizon – and children are home.

My financial commitment to the I CARE Foundation and support of the organization’s efforts to help children remains steadfast as shared by I CARE Board Member, Hague Convention Attorney Network member and highly respect attorney Joel Walter in a very kind article he shared on his website. In fact, I have donated 100% of all of my various novel’s proceeds over the past year to the I CARE Foundation: it is a commitment I intend to continue.

Being able to assist the I CARE Foundation has been a responsibility of mine that in truth has been aprivilege to uphold.   But truth is, nearly seven years ago I never even knew the collective words international parental child abduction were.  Nor did I realize that I was one of a surging number of individuals who were not familiar with this vonocular.  And quite frankly, at that time, most individuals in society did not realize the severity of this crime or what a chasing parent will go through to safely bring home their child.  Nor did they realize that sociopathic tendancies of an abusive abductor, who, not only would kidnap a child, but would attempt to slander and defame the targted other parent because international law has established a loophole known as the ‘Abductors Defense’ (Hague Convention: Article 13) that know targeted parent is immune from.

Who knew that during the time I was Chasing The Cyclone, the promise I made to the God I worship would lead to my volunteer advocacy for children, with the result being the I CARE Foundation and all that the organization has achieved.

THE I CARE FOUNDATION

From the seed that is Chasing The Cyclone, this is a sampling of the things that have been accomplished:

  1. The creation of the 501-C-3 Not-for-profit ‘International Child Abduction Research & Enlightenment’ Foundation’ (I CARE Foundation)  that was established to and has successfully rescued numerous internationally kidnapped children while conducting advanced research in the area of IPCA in order advocate for the creation of new laws that will protect children from international kidnapping.
  2. Under the I CARE Foundation’s leadership, we have built a large national pro bono network of lawyers willing to assist parents who are targeted to have a child internationally kidnapped or who have had a child abducted while also launching a successful and ongoing recruitment campaign for lawyers to join the United States Department of State’s Hague Convention Attorney Network
  3. Overseeing the legal rescue and reunification of numerous internationally kidnapped children
  4. Provided necessary resources required for numerous lawyers and targeted parents who were trying to prevent their child from being internationally abducted (see ‘Senese Creates Arsenal Of Tools To Help Lawyers and Targeted Parents’)
  5. Board Member Carolyn Vlk wrote the legislation for the State of Florida’s Child Abduction Prevention Act while Board Member Peter Thomas Senese orchestrated lobbying efforts that led to the unanimous passage of the CAPA legislation into now effective law
  6. Successfully advocated for the federal implementation of the ‘Prevent Departure Program’ to be used as a tool to stop international parental child abduction
  7. Writer and advocate behind legislative initiatives to prevent international child abduction by modifying the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
  8. Writer and advocate behind legislative initiatives to prevent international child abduction by modifying the Prevent Departure Program II
  9. The co-authoring and creation and FREE publication of the extensive ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ open-tablet E-book resource guide on IPCA
  10. The creation and production of the FREE ongoing educations documentary film on IPCA titled ‘Chasing Parents: Racing Into the Storms of IPCA
  11. The co-authoring of the extensive research report titled ‘Crisis In America: IPCAToday’
  12. The co-authoring of the extensive research report titled ‘International Child Abduction and Human Trafficking In The Western Hemisphere’
  13. The creation of one of the most informative websites on IPCA
  14. The ongoing efforts to create additional federal laws that evolve around child abduction prevention.
  15. The stout support and advocacy that led to the passage of on line impersonation laws such as those passed in the states of California and New York.
  16. I have used significant book publication revenue to finance the recovery of internationally kidnapped children.
  17. Upcoming I CARE Foundation sponsored educational legal training seminars for lawyers in the area of IPCA.
  18. A large and growing grass-roots effort to educate parents about the risks ofIPCA and child trafficking.
  19. A promise to continue my efforts to educate society about the issues of IPCA, use my resources whenever possible to assist others, and to work toward the passage of new laws that will protect children, as demonstrated in the sworn testimonials of my conduct.
  20. Recently participated in the U.S. Department of State’s United State’s Mission’s International Global Visitor Leadership Program at the Untied Nations.

All from a book called ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ that was inspired by the time in my life I was required to chase into the storms of abduction.

One final note, and this is personally extremely important to me to share.  Before I raised my voice and tried to make a difference in the fight against IPCA, there were, as there are today other wonderful advocates who have fought so hard to protect children by raising their voice, using their resources to fight a good fight, and to pass new laws that will protect children.  I recognize and applaud each of these individuals who make up the community of child advocates who are dedicated to protecting children.

Honored With Flag Of The United States Of America

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I Am Humbled and Honored

It is a tremendous and humbling honor to receive this magestic United States Flag that was flown over the United States Capitol Building in my and the I CARE Foundation’s honor due to our volunteer activism trying to help protect children and parents everywhere who are targets of international parental child abduction at the request of the United States Senate.

When I first found myself Chasing The Cyclone of international parental child abduction, I made a promise that one day I would try to help other parents and children who face abduction.  My desire to help first came in the form of writing Chasing The Cyclone, which critics have been very kind to.  It was from the power of a book that so much more occurred, including the creation of the not-for-profit I CARE Foundation.  In fact, the impact of Chasing The Cyclone has been beyond any of my initial hopes.

The I CARE Foundation’s mission is expansive, but so too are the challenges children and parents face who are targets of abduction.

Over the course of this past year alone, the foundation has helped reunite numerous children of abduction with their chasing parents.  We have helped prevent a expotentially larger number of abductions.  We have helped build a pro bono network of lawyers committed to protecting children from abduction.  We have embarked upon a grassroots educational campaign to abduction awareness with the tremendous assistance of an incredible group of parenting bloggers.  We continue to conduct research in the area of international child abduction.  And we have worked hard at creating new laws and policies that will protect against international child kidnapping and trafficking.

Our successes have been meaningful; however, they remind us of just how much more has to be done in the name of children.  Equally, when I fly this flag, I am reminded of the incredible men and women advocates who came before me who fought to help protect children from abduction.  Collectively, it is through all of our voices rising up together that we are pushing back the mountain.

On a deeply personal note, one day I will pass this flag down to my son, who I love with all my heart.

Attorney Joel Walter Honored for Work Protecting Children from Abduction

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New York City Attorney Joel Walter Honored For Work

Protecting Children From Abduction

It was a great honor to obtain a beautiful American Flag that was flown over the United States Capitol in honor of New York based attorney and I CARE Board of Director Joel Walter on Friday, October 19th, 2012 at the request of Senator Gillibran.  Joel Walter is an extraordinary man and model citizen, and in my opinion, Joel Walter is also one of the best family law and child custody attorneys practicing in New York.

For those of  you who may not know of Joel’s tremendous work protecting children at risk of international parental child abduction, and his work as a board member of the I CARE Foundation, I am pleased to share that under Joel’s guidance, the I CARE Foundation has been highly successful in assisting kidnapped children reunite with their targeted parents while also playing a significant role in preventing a large number of children from being taken.

It was a great honor to obtain a beautiful American Flag this past friday that was flown over the United States Capitol at the request on United States Senator Gillibrand in honor of Joel Walter and his selfless effort to help children and their parents targeted for abduction.  If anyone is deserving of such a high honor, it is Joel Walter.

In addition to assisting directly in abduction related cases, Joel’s work in creating legislative initiatives that the I CARE Foundation is carefully working on will, when passed, one day prevent a very large number of children from abduction.  In addition, his work on creating I CARE’s international child abduction case law data base, when complete, will assist all stakeholders in their efforts to protect children.

Incredibly, Joel Walter’s volunteer activism in the name of children is what is right about good lawyering.  I am personally humbled by the efforts of a highly skilled litigator whose practice primarily focused on complex federal cases as he has worked tirelessly in the name of children.  Undeniably, parents and at-risk children of abduction are better served due to Mr. Walter’s efforts.

How good of a lawyer is Joel Walter when it comes to international parental child abduction? Well, let me say this: he was the first person I turned to when I was Chasing The Cyclone.