Hague Convention (On the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction)

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

The Hague Convention is a group of articles that help out countries in the case of a child getting abducted.  All the countries that have ratified the convention have agreed that they will work together to bring the child back.  A short definition of the convention is that if a child is abducted and taken out of the country to another that is involved with this convention then they will work together in retrieving the child.  This convention was put forth because the well being of a child is more important that all others. 

An example would be if a child is abducted from the United States and is then taken to Ireland.  The officials in the United States would gain the help of the Irish government and work with them in retrieving the child.  That is a brief telling of the operations; the Hague Convention is actually very complex and long.  There are many conventions like this one that most people don’t even know exist.  The conventions also make all countries involved respect and follow the custody laws of the nation that is inquiring about their help.  So if a child from Israel is abducted and taken to the United States, then we will respect their custody laws and help them in that way. 

The convention also helps if a child is taken into custody of a government other than its own as long as the child won’t be harmed and will be put into good care.  If a child from another country to taken to the United Sates for example, then the two countries that have signed the convention will work together to decide what is best for the child.  They can decide that if the original country is at war or in extreme poverty that the best interest for the child is to remain in the United States.

The opposite of this is like the case of Elian Gonzalez.  Cuba hasn’t signed the convention and thus the United States has no rights other than to send the child back under international law.  Even if the United States thought that the best course of action would be to keep him in custody, they didn’t have the rights to do that.  Even if Elian would’ve wanted to stay and the Cubans thought it best for him to stay, since his dad was in Cuba and had the rights to him, he would’ve got sent back no matter what.

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