9 March 2010
INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION - MOROCCO JOINS THE HAGUE CONVENTION
The Hague Conference is pleased to receive advice that Morocco has acceded to the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
Morocco is the eighty-second State to become a Party to the 1980 Hague Convention and is the first North African State to do so. Morocco is a Member State of the Hague Conference and is also a Party to the Hague Convention of 19 October 1996 on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children, as well as the Hague Convention of 1 March 1954 on Civil Procedure.
The 1980 Hague Convention provides a rapid procedure for the prompt return of a child who has been unlawfully removed to or retained in a Contracting State. Most cases dealt with under the Convention involve abduction by one of the parents. The Convention is designed to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and to ensure that the child maintains contact with both parents. In this respect the Convention gives practical effect to general principles contained in the United Nation Convention of 1989 on the Rights of the Child.
The Convention will only operate as between Morocco and those Contracting States that accept Morocco's accession. As with all newly acceding States, the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference, through its International Centre for Judicial Studies and Technical Assistance, will make efforts to ensure that Morocco receives any support it requests in implementing the 1980 Hague Convention, and to facilitate Morocco's full participation in the international system designed to prevent the harm which children suffer when abduction occurs across international borders.
The Hague Conference has been working for a number of years (through a dialogue known as the "Malta Process") to improve cross-border co-operation in family law matters with States across the Mediterranean and beyond. Morocco's accession to the 1980 Hague Convention sends a strong signal of hope and encouragement that common ground exists, that co-operation is possible and that efforts to build bridges between the different legal systems, in the interests of children and their families, must continue.