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Toolkit for the HCCH 1980 Child Abduction Convention in times of COVID-19

Date:27 JUL 2020
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Following the publication of the HCCH COVID-19 Toolkit, the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Convention has prepared a Toolkit for the effective application of the 1980 Child Abduction Convention in times of COVID-19.
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The HCCH 1980 Child Abduction Convention places the child at its epicentre:  "The best interests of the child remain of paramount importance, in particular to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the child. The following points and resources will help relevant authorities, parties and stakeholders bear in mind the key factors for the proper application of the Convention in these unprecedented times.

  • Secure the safe and prompt return of the child to the State of habitual residence by continuing to properly carry out the obligations in the Convention in a timely manner
  • Focus on the best interests of each individual child on a case-by-case basis in the context of the application of the Convention
  • Carefully navigate exceptions raised to the obligation to return the child, for example, allegations of a possible grave risk of harm to the child upon return (Art 13(1)(b))
  • Ensure continuing and suitable contact between parent and child, especially where measures taken in light of the COVID-19 situation may mean a period of physical separation between parent and child
  • Consider whether the HCCH 1996 Child Protection Convention applies, in particular those provisions that allow the taking of urgent provisional measures for the protection of the child pending an application for return"

You can read the whole toolkit here.