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Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (HCCAICA) is an international treaty to protect children who have been removed from their country of habitual residence without the permission of the parent who has custody rights.

The Convention does this by providing an avenue for the child to be returned so that the relevant courts can resolve the issues of custody and access.

The objectives of the Convention are:

  1. To secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in any Contracting State; and
  2. To ensure that rights of custody and of access under the law of one Contracting State are effectively respected in the other Contracting States.
More than 90 countries have acceded to the Convention

More information about the Convention can be found in the official website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

What is international child abduction?

An international child abduction occurs when a child has been removed from his or her country of habitual residence, thereby preventing one parent from exercising custody rights.


A removal or retention is wrongful when it is in breach of custody rights under the law of the country where the child usually resides immediately before the removal or retention.

How does the Convention apply?

The Convention applies to
Last Reviewed On Fri, Feb 10, 2017