The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of the International Child Abduction (the “Hague Convention”) provides international rules on the cooperation of contracting states to prevent the abduction of a child, return the abducted child to the country in which the child was habitually resident and facilitate a parent-child visitation as international child abduction cases increase due to the number of international marriage and international divorce.
A contracting state appoints a Central Authority to discharge duties imposed by the Convention.
A left behind parent can submit an application for assistance in the return of or the visitation/contact with an child to the Central Authority of his/her country or to the Central Authority of the country to which the child is taken.
Upon the receipt of the application, the Central Authority of the country in which the child currently resides will review the application, identify the location of the child if necessary, and provide assistance to secure the voluntary return of the child or to bring about an amicable resolution of the issues by making mediation service available, for instance, in order to discharge the duties imposed by the Convention.
The assistance in the mediation service is the important part of the Convention as the judicial proceedings for the return of the child are.