International Child Abduction – Cyprus Procedures – Hague Convention
International Child Abduction – Cyprus Procedures
International parental child abduction is a global problem affecting thousand children each year.
The Hague Convention (1980) on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 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.
According to the Hague Convention, the removal or the retention of a child is to be considered wrongful where:
a) it is in breach of rights of custody attributed to a person, an institution or any other body, either jointly or alone, under the law of the State in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal or retention and
b) At the time of removal or retention those rights were actually exercised, either jointly or alone, or would have been so exercised but for the removal or retention.
The rights of custody mentioned in sub-paragraph a) above, may arise in particular by operation of law or by reason of a judicial or administrative decision, or by reason of an agreement having legal effect under the law of that State.
In addition, the Convention shall apply to any child who was habitually resident in a Contracting State immediately before any breach of custody or access rights. The Convention shall cease to apply when the child attains the age of 16 years.
For the purposes of this Convention –
- “Rights of custody” shall include rights relating to the care of the person of the child and, in particular, the right to determine the child’s place of residence
- “Rights of access” shall include the right to take a child for a limited period of time to a place other than the child’s habitual residence.
The judicial or administrative authority of the requested State is not bound to order the return of the child if the person, institution or other body which opposes its return establishes that:
- The person, institution or other body having the care of the person of the child was not actually exercising the custody rights at the time of removal or retention, or had consented to or subsequently acquiesced in the removal or retention or
- There is a grave risk that his or her return would expose the child to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation.