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International Child Abduction - The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction ("the Convention"), Child Abduction and Custody Ordinance (Cap. 512) ("CACO")
 

Introduction

bullet The Convention and the CACO
bullet Objectives
bullet Application of the Convention
General application
Return of abducted children
Exercise of rights of access to children
bullet More information about the Convention

 

The Convention and the CACO

The Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction ("the Convention") was signed at The Hague on 25 October 1980 during the Fourteenth Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. It entered into force in Hong Kong in September 1997, and was incorporated into Hong Kong law through the enactment of the Child Abduction and Custody Ordinance (Cap. 512) ("CACO"). Subject to the provisions of the CACO, the provisions of the Convention as set out in Schedule 1 to the CACO have the force of law in Hong Kong. Each Contracting State to the Convention designates a Central Authority to discharge the relevant functions under the Convention. In Hong Kong, such functions are discharged by the Secretary for Justice.

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Objectives

The following are the objects of the Convention -
  • to secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in any Contracting State;
  • to ensure that rights of custody and of access under the law of one Contracting State are effectively respected in the other Contracting States.

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Application of the Convention

General application

In Hong Kong, the Convention -

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Return of abducted children

The Central Authority of Hong Kong is to co-operate with the Central Authorities of Contracting States and territories having a Convention relationship with Hong Kong to assist in securing the prompt return of children wrongfully removed or retained. For more information on the requirements under the CACO and the Convention and applications for assistance, please click here.

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Exercise of rights of access to children

The Central Authority of Hong Kong is to co-operate with the Central Authorities of Contracting States and territories having a Convention relationship with Hong Kong to assist in organizing or securing the effective exercise of rights of access to children. For more information on the requirements under the CACO and the Convention and applications for assistance, please click here.

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More information about the Convention

More information about the Convention can be found at the Child Abduction Home Page of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. The Explanatory Report drawn up by Ms E. Perez Vera is in particular a very useful document. Details of all Contracting States and territories to the Convention are contained in the status table of the Convention prepared by the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference. However, you should note that Convention relationship only exist between Hong Kong and those Contracting States and territories specified in the Schedule to the Child Abduction and Custody (Parties to Convention) Order (Cap. 512 sub. leg.).

 

Back to topGo to Department of Justice HomepageLast review date: 14 Feb 2018