From 8 to 10 July 2020, the Working Group on Preventing and Addressing Illicit Practices in Intercountry Adoption met via videoconference. The meeting was attended by 58 participants, representing 24 States, including both States of origin and receiving States, and four international organisations, as well as members of the Permanent Bureau of the HCCH.
The mandate of the Group is to consider the development of more effective and practical forms of cooperation between States to prevent and address specific instances of abuse. At its 2017 meeting, the HCCH’s Council on General Affairs and Policy (CGAP) endorsed the proposal of the Group to develop a Toolkit for preventing and addressing illicit practices. The 2020 meeting of the Group focused on revising the draft Toolkit, which includes Fact Sheets on the different illicit practices and enabling factors, and ways to prevent them; a Model Procedure on how to respond to cases of illicit practices; and Guidelines on preventing and addressing patterns of illicit practices, with a specific focus on cooperation and coordination between States. The Group also discussed and agreed with a proposal to include in the Toolkit a Checklist to assist decision making by Central Authorities in light of existing risks of illicit activity.
The revised draft Toolkit will be sent to all HCCH Members, Contracting Parties to the HCCH 1993 Adoption Convention, and relevant international organisations in preparation for the next meeting of the Special Commission tentatively scheduled for June 2021. The final version of the Toolkit will be submitted to CGAP for approval.
The Report of the Working Group is available here.