House of Commons Library

International Child Abduction

Published Tuesday, October 4, 2016

This note sets out in summary the legal remedies to return a child following international child abduction, and also the permitted exceptions. Those affected by international child abduction should seek appropriate legal advice, and also contact Reunite International.

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The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a useful remedy to effect the return of a child who has been abducted across international borders.  The UK and many other countries are signatories to the Convention, and this note sets out the key features of the Convention, including the defences that can prevent an abducted child being returned under the Convention. 

The note also explains how the "Brussels IIR" regulation complements the Hague Convention in respect of child abduction cases involving EU member states (except Denmark), and also highlights the Council of Europe's "European Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement on Decisions Concerning Custody of Children".

Those affected by international child abduction should seek appropriate legal advice and contact the charity Reunite International.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7726

Author: Tim Jarrett

Topics: Children and families, EU law and treaties, International law

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