Springwood salesman Daniel Wass recently met with Federal MP for Macquarie Louise Markus to discuss the latest developments in his ongoing battle to find his missing three-year-old son Sean Jukia Wass.
Despite a visit to Japan to attempt to track down Sean through his Japanese grandparents, his son has vanished with Mr Wass’s former partner, Yuka.
Mrs Markus has had “many meetings” since first contacted by Mr Wass in March, 2011 — meeting with Attorney-General Rob McLelland in November 2011 to discuss the case and then later trying to speak with current Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon after Mr McLelland was removed from the portfolio.
Mrs Markus has tried to get Sean Wass on the Interpol Yellow List, an international watch list for missing persons but because of Japan’s current position as a non-signatory of the Hague Convention (preventing Australian government departments from following standard international child custody procedures) it has not been easy.
Mrs Markus said she has lobbied Attorney-General Roxon in July and September this year, asking her to intervene and directly instruct Australian law enforcement agencies to place Sean on the Yellow List.
“It is tremendously disappointing the Attorney-General has not responded to any of my representations concerning Sean” said Mrs Markus, “it is very important to note that the United States, a Hague Convention signatory state like Australia, has placed American children illegally removed to Japan in custody disputes on the Yellow List. I see no reason why the same effort cannot be made for an Australian child by this country’s first law officer.”
When contacted by the Gazette the Attorney-General’s department said they had provided general consular assistance to Mr Wass and, following correspondence from Mrs Markus — related “to obtaining an Interpol Yellow through the Australian Federal Police (AFP) )” — have referred the matter to the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice.
“The Minister for Home Affairs and Justice has operational responsibility for the AFP and (the matter) will be responded to shortly,” a spokeswoman said.
“The Australian Government is committed to doing everything it can to ensure the return to Australia of children who are wrongfully removed to or retained in another country, during what is a traumatic time for both the parents and children,” she added.
Mr Wass plans to cycle to Canberra next year and present his petition of names to Mrs Markus to give to parliament, to ask for help to reveal the “location” of his son and to ensure he is “safe and well”.