25 July 2013 - I CARE FOUNDATION - Peter Senese


I CARE FOUNDATION

- PETER SENESE -


THE INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION 
 RESEARCH & ENLIGHTENMENT FOUNDATION
 
G'day guys,

Today I introduce an organisation concerned about child abduction and I interview the founder of the I  CARE FOUNDATION - Peter Senese, author and multi-talented humanitarian. The Foundation is a  not-for-profit corporation registered under the corporation laws of New York State. It is a self-funded organization and does not accept contributions or donations from the public. The I CARE Foundation was created by notable child advocates possessing expertise and knowledge in the area of international parental child abduction prevention and reunification. 

The Foundation's Board of Directors and Special Advisory Board consists of child advocates possessing diverse, but qualified skill sets that enable the Foundation to socially contribute in efforts and dialog created to protect children from the criminal act of international parental kidnapping and child abuse, as international parental child abduction is a serious offense against innocent, defenseless children. 


Please note the BREAKING NEWS at the bottom!

Welcome, Peter. Tell us more about you and the Foundation ...



WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT JOB?


Outside of my professional work in the entertainment and technology spheres, I am the Founding Director of the International Child Abduction Research & Enlightenment Foundation, widely known as the I CARE Foundation.  The foundation is a self-funded non-profit organization dedicated to stopping the dangerous crime that targets children known as international parental child abduction and trafficking. 



As a child advocacy organization, the I CARE Foundation has helped pass new laws in the United States and alter existing policies that have been instrumental in the remarkable outbound child abduction decline by 15% in each of the last 2 years after nearly 30 years of steadfast growth.  Along the way we have been influential in reuniting numerous kidnapped children with their targeted parents.





WHY DID YOU CHOOSE HUMAN RIGHTS?


I am not sure if anyone really chooses ‘human rights’.  In reality I think most everyone has within them the desire and intent to be connected with each other through kindness.  That spirit and each of our desires to enrich the human condition is part of our fabric. So it is natural for advocates to want to raise their voice on behalf of those in need: it is part of who we are. This said, I think that having courage to raise our voice is critical. Finding your courage – true courage – is not easy.  However, when you do, there is a remarkable event that takes place: true spiritual freedom because in finding and embracing courage to first say ‘this is who I am’ by living in your morals, values, and ethics, a person can become unbowed to the distractions around them and live in freedom.  



Along my own life journey, I have learned what it is to have and embrace courage.  Through it, I have become a more vocal voice for those less fortunate than I am.



HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN HUMAN RIGHTS? WAS IT ONE PARTICULAR INCIDENT?


My volunteer efforts trying to assist children in crisis, particularly children targeted for abduction and kidnapping was born out of my family’s own nightmare that included an extensive scheme of international child abduction that would have had my son lost forever.  The novel ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ I have written draws from these experiences.



So my starting point really was when I decided to use my voice as an author to share with the world the reality that international parental child abduction is a major pandemic that destroys children. From sharing this story, Chasing The Cyclone has been called a book of miracles. It is the seed that started the I CARE Foundation and the catalyst of helping many children.





WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF HUMAN RIGHTS?



I think it is a rather simple definition: the life-given right for each person to equally pursue happiness, liberty, and freedom without threat or fear to celebrate and live their life based upon their own morals, values and ethics so long as these beliefs do not violate the rights of others to pursue happiness.



DO YOU DO ‘PRO-BONO’ WORK IN HUMAN RIGHTS CASES?



The I CARE Foundation’s work is conducted on a pro-bono basis.  We previously launched a national campaign to recruit attorneys who offer pro bono services for children in crisis of abduction to participate in the United States Department of State’s Hague Attorney Network, and, we have actively built the I CARE Foundation’s attorney network.  Along the way, we have helped reunite many children of abduction with their parents and stopped an even greater number of international kidnappings. I am often reminded of the importance of our work when I read the many letters from families who we have helped



WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES IN THE WORLD AS YOU SEE THEM?



We surely have many things that need to be addressed. However, I will refrain from sharing my expansive views and answer by saying that society as a whole must really embrace the concept that we are all global citizens. We are countrymen and countrywomen to the human race.  And we must enhance, enrich, and protect each other’s rights to pursue happiness while also assisting in maintaining a standard for each person so they can actually pursue happiness without threat or fear.



HOW CAN ORDINARY PEOPLE HELP, OR BECOME INVOLVED?



Our world has changed, and social media has allowed individuals from around the world who share views or concerns to mobilize. It is remarkable. In my world as a child abduction prevention advocate, the I CARE Foundation reached out to the world of parent blog writers, and asked if they would use their incredibly influential voices to raise awareness of the warning signs and risk factors of international parental child abduction – a crime that sees children at grave risk of violence and/or murder by their abducting parent.  The result? After nearly 30 years of outbound reported growth of child abduction in the U.S., the international kidnapping rate declined by 15% during the last two reporting years of 2011 and 2012.   So, the way to get involved is to raise your voice. Volunteer a little of your time. But most of all the way an ordinary person can make a difference is to hold onto the courage and belief that your voice matters. All of our voices do matter.  





HOW CAN WRITERS AND AUTHORS HELP?



Books can in fact become seeds for miracles.  In the world of international parental child abduction – which is a severe and abusive act that violates the human rights of a child and targeted parent, several books have been published recently that began to educate society about child kidnapping when the U.S. and global growth rate of abduction was hovering at 20% per year.  The books included my deeply inspired novel about abduction called ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ as well as Steve Fenton’s ‘Broken Treaty’, and David Goldman’s ‘A Father’s Love’.  These books raised awareness of abduction and played a critical role in causing society to pay attention to this awful crime that violates a child’s human rights. The result?  In contradiction to the expected 20% growth rate of abduction continuing, we have experienced two consecutive years of a 15% decline in international parental abductions in the U.S.  I anticipate what is occurring in the U.S. will have an impact in many nations abroad. It has to!



DO YOU BECOME FRUSTRATED BY THE LACK OF POLITICAL WILL REGARDING HUMAN RIGHTS?



I do think we have a long way to go.  However, I also think the world is beginning to embrace the concept of global citizenship.  And as we continue to grasp this notion I believe each person’s voice will help elevate the human condition.



WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST VICTORY?



On a personal level, fighting cancer on multiple occasions, learning how to conquer the dragon by seeing the magic that exists in life, and then in my own way, trying to share that magic with others.   As a child advocate I have taken great pride in knowing that the U.S. outbound abduction rate has dramatically declined.  Helping to bring home abducted children is very high on my list.  But most of all, and this is not a victory, but the thing that means the most to me is that no matter what, I celebrate my son and his life.



WHAT HAS BEEN THE SADDEST MOMENT IN YOUR WORK?



In the world of child abduction prevention, the reality is that international child abduction is very complicated. We fail to help more than we are able to help because of the complicated issues involved.  Hopefully as we continue to try to make a difference, our failures will become less.





WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST FRUSTRATIONS?



In the world of child abduction, the greatest frustration I experience is when a targeted parent attempts to recover their internationally kidnapped child and faces malicious tentacles of complexity that in reality can easily strangle their ability to reunite with their victimized child.  For example, generally, even though international parental child abduction is a crime against a child, the targeted parent has to pay for 100% of all recovery costs.  And a parent simply cannot go into another country and snatch the child, even if they have custody of the child, as they could be violating that country’s laws.   And it is extremely frustrating when a court does not uphold the rules and spirit of international law that calls for expedited hearings on these cases.  Hopefully this will end, especially since the Department of Justice recently confirmed that children who are abducted by their parent are at grave risk of violence and even murder.



WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?



I am thrilled to share that the I CARE Foundation has recently launched an ‘International Travel Child Consent Form’ created to prevent a child from being illegally detained abroad by one parent.   This is such a critical document, especially since our world is becoming one filled with global citizens. Unfortunately, people who were born in different countries meet, enter a relationship, have a child, and then inevitably, some of these relationships fail.  When this happens, often the parent who was born in another country may want to return to their country of origin. When they do, they may also desire to relocate the child of the marriage. Knowing that the child’s other parent will oppose this, and that it is very unlikely that a judge will consent to relocation; these parents abduct the child abroad.  And when they do, often, they try to remove the other parent completely from the child’s life because they want to get on with their own life and do not want to be inconvenienced.  So they plot how to do that: often trying to have the other parent – and it does not matter if it is a man or woman – arrested and restrained from contact. 



I would dare say that the I CARE Foundation’s ‘International Travel Child Consent Form’ may be the most important work we have created for the global impact it is expected to have is far-reaching.





DO YOU WORK ON OTHER CASES, BESIDES HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES?



As a cancer conqueror, I try to spend as much time as possible helping children who are fighting the dragon. In addition, as a best-selling author and person who believes that books and reading can take us anywhere in the world, I am a strong supporter of literacy programs.




DO YOU BELIEVE THAT SOME GOOD THINGS ARE BEING ACHIEVED IN HUMAN RIGHTS?



I think we’re seeing a great impact made by non-government organizations to increase the human condition in many areas as the internet has allowed people to mobilize.  The reach is extensive; however, so too are the issues.  Nevertheless, when the average person who would not have the ability to lend their voice and steward a message suddenly has the ability to do so, change is inevitable. 



WHO OR WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES?



Reality is that money and finances are obstacles that are elevated in part by greed or inefficient delivery systems created to provide aid to those who need it.  We must become more efficient at streamlining how we reach those in need and ensure that once delivery systems are in place that those charged to ensure that goods and services intended to reach others actually does.



ARE WESTERN GOVERNMENTS PROACTIVE OR REACTIVE?



Politics move like the wind. We may want to suggest that there is an inclination to be proactive and at times reactive. Truth is, it depends on the personal issue and the immediate realities society faces.



ANY ADVICE FOR A LAWYER CONSIDERING HUMAN RIGHTS LAW?



There is nothing more satisfying than helping those in need. Donate part of your time to pro bono work because you have been given a gift to make the world a better place.



IF YOU HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS ALL WORLD LEADERS, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?



In my capacity as an international parental child abduction advocate I would steward the message that child abduction must end, and that each nation not only has to create laws and policies to protect children, but that these nations must also uphold the spirit and intent of international law under the Hague Convention. 





WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST DREAM?



To one day travel to space. I am bewildered with how the Orion spacecraft will change mankind’s destiny.  With the upcoming 2014 of Orion, mankind will truly begin space exploration.



DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY?



After starting my day with a good workout, I like to spend a portion of my day working to positively impact the human condition, whether it is in my volunteer work with the I CARE Foundation, my work as a story teller, or my activity in certain technology companies I am part of.  After that, there is this thing called … golf. I enjoy the game a great deal.  I hope one day I will learn how to really play.  And after a fun 9-holes, I wouldn’t mind sitting on the boat, grilling a nice dinner as the sun settles over the Pacific.  And after dinner, I would throw on my scuba gear and begin exploring the sea. It is a good balance.  Sometimes I’m fortunate to do just that.  And if I am working on a novel – then I write . . . and I write . . . and I write!



WHAT ARE YOUR FIVE MOST FAVOURITE BOOKS?



‘Unbowed’ by Wangari Maathai, ‘My Justice’ by Patricia McKnight, ‘Don Quixote of La Mancha’ by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, ‘Moby Dick’ by Herman Melville, and J.R. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.





HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE?



I see myself continuing to share my voice to help children in crisis, while also stewarding the technological enhancements of the technology companies I am involved with.  Storytelling is a very big part of my life, particularly writing: I love to write geopolitical thrillers. And I am working on completing sequels to ‘Cloning Christ’, which is titled ‘Quest’, and ‘Den of the Assassin’s’ sequel, ‘Predators Games.’. And one day . . . when mankind can travel into LEO – Low Earth Orbit – I plan to be on one of those ships.



WHAT WOULD BE YOUR VERY LAST SENTENCE?



Be nice to one another.





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Video - A Life Filled With Magic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7xAaHVO12rA

Video: Summer vacation and International Parental Child Abduction:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4x0orTERGgY




*** BREAKING NEWS ***

I CARE Foundation Creates Special Commission To Report On Groundbreaking Hague-Convention-Oriented International Parental Child Abduction Prevention Initiatives.

 


The Secretary General of the Hague Conference on International Private Law, Mr. Christophe Bernasconi, joins global child abduction prevention leaders in support of Peter Thomas Senese and the I CARE Foundation's worldwide initiative to implement the groundbreaking 'International Travel Child Consent Form'. 


In response to the wide-spread support and implementation of the I CARE Foundation's 'International Travel Consent Form' from lawyers and courts around the world, the I CARE Foundation announced today the creation of an international Special Commission consisting of renowned child advocates residing in Hague-member states that will report to leadership of the Hague Conference on International Private Law on the implementation and utilization of the 'International Travel Child Consent Form'. 

 

*** Click here to read more about the above ***

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Clancy's comment: Wow! Well done. I'd encourage anyone to check out the above videos. Thanks, Peter. Admire your work and passion. Great videos. Keep going. 

Love ya work!



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