International Child Abduction

Although many countries are trying to work together the law surrounding international child abduction remains complex. Whilst there are provisions in place to assist such as the:

Hague convention on international child abduction,

European Council Regulation
European Convention 

Some countries aren’t signatories. Where countries have ratified the provisions they provide a tight legal framework to assist parents applying for their child's return.

 What can you do to prevent a child being abducted?

  • In certain circumstances you can apply to the Court for a Prohibitive Steps Order, preventing removal of the child.
  • Contact the police if the abduction is expected to take place within the next 48 hours.
  • Keep the child's passport in a safe place.
  • Call the Foreign Office's Child Abduction Section on 020 7008 0878.
  • If the other parent wants to take the child on holiday make sure evidence of return travel tickets is provided as well as details of where the child will be staying and contact details (including an address and an emergency telephone number).
  • Be extra vigilant if the other parent is looking to take the child on holiday to their home land if the other parent has family and friends there and doesn’t have much to keep them living in England and Wales (such as assets, property, employment).
  • Seek legal advice from a specialist Family Law Solicitor as soon as possible.
  • Contact Reunite and the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit