The Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (HCCH 1980 Child Abduction Convention) is a multilateral treaty, which seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of wrongful removal and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return and ensuring the protection of rights of access. The "Child Abduction Section" provides information about the operation of the Convention and the work of the Hague Conference in monitoring its implementation and promoting international co-operation in the area of child abduction.

The Permanent Bureau has published a toolkit focused on the effective application of the HCCH 1980 Child Abduction Convention in times of Covid-19 .

Please note that the Permanent Bureau of the HCCH has no mandate to assist in individual abduction cases. If you have a question relating to international child abduction and your country is a Party to the HCCH 1980 Child Abduction Convention, please contact the Central Authority designated by your country.

Explanatory documents:

Guides to Good Practice:

Special Commission meetings on the practical operation of the Convention:

Country Profiles:

Questionnaires and responses:

The International Hague Network of Judges:

Judicial Communications:

  • Direct Judicial Communications - Emerging Guidance regarding the development of the International Hague Network of Judges and General Principles for Judicial Communications, including commonly accepted safeguards for Direct Judicial Communications in specific cases, within the context of the International Hague Network of Judges
  • Prel. Doc. No 3D of December 2011 - Note on the desirability and feasibility of a potential legal instrument providing a basis for direct judicial communications
  • Prel. Doc. No 3C of July 2011 - Collection of responses on the draft General Principles for Judicial Communications
  • Prel. Doc. No 3B of April 2011 - Report on judicial communications in relation to international child protection (+ Annexes)
  • Prel. Doc. No 3A Revised of July 2012 - Emerging guidance regarding the development of the International Hague Network of Judges and general principles for judicial communications
  • Conclusions and Recommendations of the Joint EC-HCCH Conference on Direct Judicial Communications on Family Law Matters and the Development of Judicial Networks, Brussels 15-16 January 2009
  • Prel. Doc. No 8 of October 2006 - Report on judicial communications in relation to international child protection + Appendices
  • Prel. Doc. No 6 of August 2002 - Practical Mechanisms for Facilitating Direct International Judicial Communications in the context of the Hague Child Abduction Convention (Preliminary Report + Annexes)

Cross-border family mediation:

Judicial and other Seminars on the International Protection of Children:

The Judges' Newsletter on International Child Protection:

HCCH International Family Law Briefings:

INCADAT - the International Child Abduction Database:

iChild: the Electronic Case Management System for the Child Abduction Convention:

INCASTAT: International Child Abduction Statistics:

The Latin America and Caribbean Section:

Non-Hague Convention child abductions:


Links to related websites

3 July 2020 version of the Toolkit for the 1980 Child Abduction In Times of Covid-19