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Foreign Minister discusses child custody issues on UK visit

During an official visit of Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, the Latvian minister met with David Lidington, the Minister of State for Europe at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. Among other topics, the two discussed child custody issues and cooperation between the two countries' social services, reported BNS Thursday.

Rinkevics said that the Latvian side has repeatedly drawn the Britsh authorities' attention to the need to provide information to the Latvian Embassy in London in line with the Vienna convention about the cases where custodians or guardians are appointed for children of Latvian parents in the UK.

Rinkevics told Lidington that the Latvian Embassy in London, in collaboration with several other embassies of EU member states, has drafted amendments to guidelines for British social services' cooperation with other countries' authorities on child custody issues.

Rinkevics said that in several cases early involvement from the embassy had helped institutions of both countries to achieve a solution that's in the interests of the child. 

Children being taken from Latvian families abroad is a contested topic, ever since the case of Laila Brice's daughter being removed from her sent waves across the media and incited some 50 Latvians to picket by the United Kingdom embassy in mid-2014.

Earlier, Latvian Radio reported that in 2013 the Latvian Embassy in the United Kingdom received information about 40 incidents related to childcare in the families of Latvian citizens. Last year the number grew to 89, while this year 79 cases have been reported by October.

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