Whilst it might not be a daily problem in the Clarence Valley, for the shear horror that it puts parents through, it is worth discussing what happens when a child is taken overseas by a parent in contravention of orders from an Australian Court.
Australia is a party to the Hague Convention, the purpose being to discourage the wrongful taking or retaining overseas of children. It puts measures in place to have the child returned to the home country to allow courts to deal with and resolve contact and living arrangements.
If a child is taken, or wrongfully retained after they should have returned to Australia, an application is made to the Central Authority when the other country involved is one of the 77 member countries of the Hague Convention. This assists the process in returning the child to Australia. The child must have been taken from a Hague country, to another Hague country.
A problem which faces some of the 2-3 families per week in Australia who suffer the horror of international child abduction, is that there are many countries that are not parties to the Hague Convention. The level of co-operation received from other countries varies wildly.
It is interesting to note which countries are not party to Hague. Popular holiday destinations such as Germany and Greece have shown non compliance recently, whilst the State Department of the USA reports that 47 children have been wrongfully taken to Japan, and none have been successfully returned.
88 children have been taken from Australia last year, with 47 returned.
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This is intended for general information and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal legal advice should be sought.