Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or Hague Abduction Convention is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) that provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another.

Hague Abduction Convention
Convention on the civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
State parties to the convention
  states that signed and ratified the convention
  states that acceded to the convention
  state that ratified, but convention has not entered into force
Signed25 October 1980 (1980-10-25)
LocationThe Hague, Netherlands
Effective1 December 1983[1]
Condition3 ratifications
Parties101 (July 2019)[1]
DepositaryMinistry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
LanguagesFrench and English
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction at Wikisource

The Convention was concluded 25 October 1980 and entered into force between the signatories on 1 December 1983. The Convention was drafted to ensure the prompt return of children who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence or wrongfully retained in a contracting state not their country of habitual residence.[2]

The primary intention of the Convention is to preserve whatever status quo child custody arrangement existed immediately before an alleged wrongful removal or retention thereby deterring a parent from crossing international boundaries in search of a more sympathetic court. The Convention applies only to children under the age of 16.

By the end of 2020, the Convention had 86 Members, which includes 85 Member States and the European Union).[3]