The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law that provides an expeditious method to return a child taken from one member nation to another. The Convention was drafted to "ensure the prompt return of children who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence or wrongfully retained in a contracting state not their country of habitual residence."
The primary intention of the Convention is to preserve whatever status quo child custody arrangement existed immediately before an alleged wrongful removal or retention thereby deterring a parent from crossing international boundaries in search of a more sympathetic court. The Convention applies only to children under the age of 16.
Signatory states include: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, China (Hong Kong and Macao only), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea (Republic of), Japan, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (Republic of), Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
To read the text of the Hague Convention, click on Hague Convention.
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Family law information for parents whose children are resident in England and Wales
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