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The President of the European Parliament

Press Release : 20-09-1999

Mary BANOTTI is confirmed as ombudsman for international child abductions.
Mrs Nicole FONTAINE, President of the European Parliament, has confirmed Mrs Mary Banotti (EPP, Irl) in her office as ombudsman for international child abductions. Mrs Banotti has occupied this post since 1995.

Since her appointment Mary BANOTTI has developed an extensive network of contacts at both European and international level. She is also a committee member for the international centre for missing and exploited children in Washington and was instrumental in the establishment of ICPAC (Irish centre for the parents of abducted children).

The ombudsman seems to be the last resort for insoluble cases. These are often cases where all other avenues have been explored without success. The role of the ombudsman is thus frequently to take up the cases once again, using her network of relations and her diplomatic contacts.

In 1998 the ombudsman’s office dealt with 30 cases. Seven of them ended satisfactorily with the return of the child, four being returned voluntarily and three following a judicial decision.
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