INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION
11 Eylül 2019
Parental abduction (also called parental kidnapping or child snatching) is defined as taking, retaining, or concealing a child in violation of the custody or visitation rights of another parent or family member. Generally occurring around parental separation or divorce. International child abduction occurs when a parent, relative or acquaintance of a child leaves the country with the child or children in violation of a custody decree or visitation order.
Disputes about children are some of the hardest issues in the transnational context. Especially, the international child abduction is one of the most complex and problematic matter in this area. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction contain an effective mechanism designed to prevent such abductions. The basic approach of these conventions is to require the prompt return of a child wrongfully removed to or retained in any contracting state.
The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (hereafter The Hague Convention) is a multilateral treaty that provides protection for children from the harmful effects of abduction and wrongful retention across international borders. It provides a legal framework for securing the prompt return of wrongfully removed or retained children to the country of their habitual residence where a competent court can make decisions on issues of custody and the child’s “best interests”.
If the abduction is from one country to another over international boundaries, then the Hague Convention applies if the involved countries are members of the Convention. If one country is a member of the Convention and the other country is not, then the laws of the country where the child has been abducted determine whether the Hague Convention applies or not.
The first case against Albania in The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) was Bajrami versus Albania. The ECtHR held that Albanian law did not include any effective measure for securing the reunion of parents with their children in a situation such as in this case. In particular, there was no specific remedy to prevent or punish cases of child abduction from Albania. The ECtHR noted that Albania was not a State Party to the 1980 Hague Convention and had not yet implemented the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The first case against Albania in the ECtHR was Bajrami versus Albania, what did obligation the ratification of the Hague Convention "On civil aspects of international child abduction." Procedures relating to the exercise of parental responsibility, including the implementation of the final decision, seek emergency treatment while the length of time could have irreparable consequences for relations between the child and the parent. The case Bajrami versus Albania proved this, father died without meeting the child.