Hague Convention

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 22, 2022, 6:22

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a treaty that seeks to combat abductions and disappearances of children who are taken by one parent from another. The convention protects children by finding solutions when such a situation occurs and protecting them from harmful practices. It has made it possible for courts in contracting nations to return abducted children to their home country-the requesting nation.

What is Hague Convention?

The Hague Convention is a treaty that gives the basic framework for dealing with children who are abducted between member countries. Signed by most of the world's major nations, it simplifies the process and reduces the time needed to resolve custody issues. Recipients of the convention are "competent authorities" who are in charge of governmental functions in a specific country. These authorities must abide by the rules set forth by the treaty throughout the process and may not change them for their own gain or to interfere with other countries' legal systems.

Hague Convention Objective

The objective of the Hague Convention is to protect children who are legally separated from one or both parents. The convention's primary job is to find a solution for custody, visitation, and child support issues. The goal of the convention is to deter unlawful actions by either or both parents that would lead to a legal separation, which can potentially result in abduction or foster placement of a child. The Hague Conventions usually happen only when there has been an abduction that requires joint European action.

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Constitutionality -

The Hague Conventions are considered either customary international law or peremptory norms. This means that they have customary status with the law community and that no formal action is required to create them. The conventions are not laws, nor are they binding, but have become part of international law through their universal acceptance by many countries over the years.

Non-refoulement -

Nonrefoulement is a principle of customary international law that prohibits the removal of an individual to a country where he/she would be at risk of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Refoulement occurs when a nation sends an individual back to another nation by violating the non-refoulment principle. Specifically, the individual would be sent back to face torture or death, or experience inhumane treatment.

One cannot be removed from their country unless the country is willing to accept them and protect them. This creates a roadblock in many abduction situations as the Hague Convention is unable to recognize and enforce court orders regarding custody issues if they are made with regard to a jurisdiction that is different from that which has legal custody of the child. This can be a problem as the abductor, who is also the legal parent, wishes to have the child join them in their country. As a result, many countries are very hesitant to interfere with another country's legal system and due process. They are also reluctant to jeopardize the chance of creating a "backdoor" for non-refoulment.

The Convention has had a great impact on children who were once abducted from one country to another. It was signed by 84 countries and by 2009 it was ratified by 79 countries. While it does not always help in returning children back to their native countries, it does give rights for "habitual residence".

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a treaty that provides protection for children who have been abducted between several countries. Though the treaty has great influence and control, it does not always solve problems related to international abductions. However, it gives new hope to parents who are fighting for custody of their children against the abductor by creating an orderly process that is fair to both parties. It is important for the Convention not to be altered so as to deny access to any nation that may appear too different from those already involved in the Convention.

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FAQs on Hague Convention

Q1: What is the Hague Convention on international abductions?

The Hague Convention is a treaty that gives guidelines on how members of a nation can deal with children who are abducted by another nation. The treaty was first signed in 1984 and was created to protect children who are taken unlawfully or without the parent's consent. It also protects the rights of families, communities and countries involved in those situations by preventing them from being separated by force or deception.

Q2: What countries have signed the Hague Convention?

The Hague Convention has been signed by most of the nations in this world. In 2009 there were 57 signatories to the treaty along with 2 signatories which were not economic members at that time.

Q3: What does the Hague Convention deal with?

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is the main international agreement that deals with international parental child abduction

Q4: What are the Hague Convention's objectives?

The primary objective of the Hague Convention is to protect children because they are not mature enough to make their own decisions or deal with any form of legal separation or divorce that their parents may be going through.