Latest figures released by reunite International Child Abduction Centre show a 47 per cent increase in the number of child abduction cases reported to their advice line.
In 2011 reunite handled 512 new abduction cases, which represents 479 children abducted out of the UK, 189 children abducted into the UK, 16 children abducted between UK jurisdictions, and 56 children abducted between non-UK jurisdictions.
In 70 per cent of the cases reported to reunite, the mother was the abducting parent.
Alison Shalaby, reunite´s Acting Director, said "It is concerning that we have seen such a large increase in the number of children abducted, especially as we know this is just the tip of the iceberg - many cases go unreported either to ourselves or government departments.
"There are many reasons why a parent may abduct their child. For some it may be a deliberate act to deny the other parent contact, for others there may be sociological or economic factors, or in some instances a parent may abduct their child out of fear for the child´s safety. Whatever the reason, parental child abduction causes real harm to children who potentially suffer great emotional trauma by suddenly being ripped away from all they know and being denied contact with their left-behind parent and extended family."