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European Parliament calls for stronger protection for rights of children in international divorce disputes

Date:23 JAN 2018
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The European Parliament has emphasised the importance of protecting the rights of the child throughout the dispute resolution procedure between divorcing couples, given the increasing rates of international divorces and cross-border child abductions within the EU. MEPs propose that practicing and experienced family judges should preside over child abduction cases, and that the child should have the right to expression.
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MEPs said that the best interests of the child must be prioritised throughout proceedings. The child’s right to expression would be obtained through a clear procedure, without exerting pressure on the child, and by a specially trained expert interviewer.

MEPs also want to improve information-sharing and cooperation between member states’ judicial authorities.

Parliament’s opinion was adopted by 562 votes to 16, with 43 abstentions. The opinion will be passed onto the Council, which is responsible for taking a decision.