30th Anniversary of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention

2 December 2013

On 1 December 1983, the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction entered into force, with Canada, France and Portugal as the first three Contracting States. Since then, in the time leading up to this year’s 30th anniversary, an additional 87 States have joined the Convention, an increase of 30 times the original number.

The Hague Child Abduction Convention is considered to be one of the most important international instruments in force for the protection of the interests of children in cross-border family disputes. In addition to being an essential tool for protecting children from the harmful effects of wrongful removal from their State of habitual residence, it is often cited as one of the primary multilateral instruments non-Contracting States should join as a means for ensuring compliance with the United Nations Convention of 20 November 1989 on the Rights of the Child.

In the coming years, the Permanent Bureau hopes that the number of Contracting States continues to increase and that more children benefit from the protections established by this Convention.