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5 November 2010, 05:52
A woman from Norwich has had her five children taken by her ex-husband after they split up.
Anita Lewis, from Norwich met her Libyan ex-husband through mutual friends, but after they separated, he took their five children during a routine visit, committing one of Britain’s biggest cases of child abduction.
For weeks Anita had no idea where they were until she found out he had smuggled his children back to his home country.
Becasue of the laws there, they aren't allowed to come back to the UK without his permission, which makes it virtually impossible for her to get them back.
Her full story is being broadcast in a new documentary 'Libya: the Stolen Children' on Sky News at 1900 on Friday 5th November.
It highlights the trend of children being abducted and taken abroad by members of their own family.
Sky News Foreign Correspondent Lisa Holland said: “The documentary is a real eye-opener about just how difficult it is to get your child back if they have being abducted by their own father, and taken to a country which doesn’t recognise international protocols – and that applies to most countries outside of Europe.”
Foreign Office figures have revealed a 39% increase over the last year* of British children being abducted by one of their parents and taken to countries not signed up to The Hague Convention. It is an issue that has been attributed by charities to the growing number of transcultural marriages in the UK.