Permanent Bureau team assists Guatemala with the implementation of the 1993 Hague Convention

19 Juli 2007

In 2002 Guatemala acceded to the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. However, in 2003 the Constitutional Court of Guatemala declared this accession to be unconstitutional. This meant that according to the Guatemalan legal system, the Convention was not in force. Therefore, the depositary of the Hague Convention confirmed in 2003 that the original instrument of accession had been “accepted after it was found to be in due and proper form”. Since then, the Convention has been in force under international law between Guatemala and all countries which have not raised an objection to the accession.

On 22 May 2007, the Congress of Guatemala, by way of Decree No 31/2007, approved the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. According to this act, the Convention will be part of the internal legal order of Guatemala as of 31 December 2007.

The Government and the Parliament of Guatemala have accepted the offer of assistance in the implementation of the Convention, which was proposed to them. This assistance will take place in two stages: i) in co-operation with a small international advisory group, composed by Colombia, Germany, Norway, Spain and the United States of America, the Permanent Bureau is providing Guatemala with guidance on legal matters, and specifically assist in the drafting of its adoption law. This first stage will include a series of informative sessions and workshops, to be held at the end of July in Guatemala and organized with UNICEF and the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs; ii) the Permanent Bureau, in co-operation with a group of Central Authorities which already met in 2003 on this subject, will offer technical assistance in respect of the general training of different actors of the child protection system.