Call for review after Atiya ordeal

The politician who helped reunite mother Gemma Wilkinson with her six-year-old daughter Atiya, who was kidnapped by her father three years ago, has said there is a "fundamental need" to review how similar cases are dealt with in the future.

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Charity reports 'large increase' in child abduction

The charity Reunite International says that it has seen "a large increase" in the numbers of British children being abducted by one of their parents and taken overseas.

The organisation supported Gemma Wilkinson, Atiya's mother during her disappearance. It helps parents access useful information in the event of their child being abducted, and also offers advice to families outside the UK.

  • Between 1995 and 2010 the charity saw 164% increase in the number of abduction cases being reported to them.
  • Countries which are signed up to the Hague Convention have set protections in place for abducted children. Of those countries in 2010, the charity most frequently dealt with cases of children being taken to Spain, Poland, France and the US.
  • Countries not signed up to the Hague Convention do not have fixed agreements with the UK. Of those countries in 2010, the charity most frequently dealt with cases of children being abducted to Pakistan, Egypt, India and Thailand.

Police 'thankful' that Atiya is returning safely home

Greater Manchester Police say that they are pleased to secure the safe return of six-year-old Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson who was taken by her father to Pakistan in 2009.

This has been a long and hard investigation which has thankfully culminated in Atiya being on her way home.

Throughout the three years of her disappearance, her mother Gemma has understandably been sick with worry. She had not heard from her beloved daughter and did not know whether she would ever set eyes upon her again.

However, Gemma, alongside ourselves and a variety of organisations, were determined we would not give up and remained dedicated to finding her. Thanks to this determination and the help from the Pakistani authorities, we have the outcome we were hoping for.

– Detective Superintendent Phil Owen, Greater Manchester Police's Child Protection Unit


Abducted Atiya due to return home

Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson, who is due to return home today, vanished in November 2009 after going to stay with her father, Razwan Ali Anjum.

The former insurance salesman said he was taking Atiya to Southport.

Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson went missing in 2009. Credit: PA Wire

Instead he took her to Lahore, Pakistan, and told Gemma Wilkinson - Atiya's mother - that she was "never going to see Atiya again".

Anjum is currently serving a prison sentence in the UK for refusing to reveal his daughter's whereabouts despite a court order.

But sources have now revealed that new information had come to light, that Atiya had been located in Pakistan and that she was due to arrive back in the UK later today.

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