Goldman School of Public Policy - University of California, Berkeley

The Hague Convention Partners with the US

The Hague Conference

The Hague Conference on private international law is an intergovernmental organization the purpose of which is “to work for the progressive unification of the rules of private international law” (Statute, Article 1). There are currently 59 permanent members of the Hague Conference. The Conference meets every four years in “Plenary Sessions,” at which the members discuss and adopt multilateral treaties, or “Conventions” in the different fields of private international law. There have been 36 Conventions adopted since 1945.

The Twenty-Seventh Convention

This project focuses solely on the 27th Convention adopted by the Hague Conference. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (hereafter “The Convention”) was adopted in 1980 and according to The Hague Conference Web site, “is a multilateral treaty, which seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return.”

This convention establishes the rules that govern international parental child abduction cases. The convention applies when a child has been removed from its country of residence to a foreign country without the consent of the custodial parent, or retained in a foreign country longer than an initially agreed upon period. (For example, kept in Australia after a Christmas holiday trip)

The Convention consists of 45 articles divided into six chapters. As of June, 2010 82 countries are contracting states to the Convention. Of those states, over 60 have been accepted by the U.S. Below is a list of the effective dates of the contracting parties of the Convention with the U.S.:

Argentina June 1, 1981
Australia July 1, 1988
Austria October 1, 1988
Bahamas January 1, 1994
Belgium May 1, 1999
Belize November 1, 1989
Bosnia and Herzegovina December 1, 1991
Brazil December 1, 2003
Bulgaria January 1, 2000
Burkina Faso November 1, 1992
Canada July 1, 1988
Chile July 1, 1994
Hong Kong Special Admin Region September 1, 1997
Macau March 1, 1999
Colombia June 1, 1996
Costa Rica January 1, 2008
Croatia December 1, 1991
Cyprus March 1, 1995
Czech Republic March 1, 1998
Denmark July 1, 1991
Dominican Republic June 1, 2007
Ecuador April 1, 1992
El Salvador June 1, 2007
Estonia May 1, 2007
Finland August 1, 1994
France July 1, 1988
Germany December 1, 1990
Greece June 1, 1993
Guatemala January 1, 2008
Honduras June 1, 1988
Hungary July 1, 1988
Iceland December 1, 1996
Ireland December 1, 1996
Israel December 1, 1991
Italy May 1, 1995
Latvia May 1, 2007
Lithuania May 1, 2007               
Luxembourg July 1, 1988
Former Yugoslav Rep. of Macedonia December 1, 1991
Malta February 1, 2003
Mauritius October 1, 1993
Mexico October 1, 1991
Monaco June 1, 1993
Montenegro December 1, 1991
Netherlands September 1, 1991
New Zealand October 1, 1991
Norway  April 1, 1989
Panama June 1, 1994
Paraguay January 1, 2008
Peru June 1, 2007
Poland November 1, 1992
Portugal July 1, 1998
Romania June 1, 1993
San Marino January 1, 2008
Serbia December 1, 1991
Slovakia Febrauary 1, 2001
Slovenia April 1, 1995
South Africa November 1, 1997
Spain July 1, 1988
Sri Lanka January 1, 2008
St. Kitts and Nevis June 1, 1995
Sweden June 1,1989
Switzerland July 1, 1988
Turkey August 1, 2000
Ukraine September 1, 2007
United Kingdom July 1, 1988
Bermuda March 1, 1999
Cayman Islands August 1, 1988
Falkland Islands March 1, 1991
Isle of Man September 1, 1991
Montserrat March 1, 1999
Uruguay September 1, 2004
Venezuala January 1, 1997
Zimbabwe August 1, 1995