The

Hague Project

THE PROBLEM:

 

The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction was designed to protect bicultural children fleeing across international borders with their parents. However, all support is given to the left-behind parent who oftentimes is the abuser. The fleeing parent and children have no support or protection and are at the mercy of the abuser who often uses the law as a means to continue the abuse.

The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction is an international treaty agreed upon by two countries involving bicultural children. The Hague Convention governs the process by which a child, alleged by one parent to have been abducted by the other, is returned to his or her country of habitual residence. 

 

Recently, domestic violence victims fleeing to their own home countries with their children have had the tables turned on them as the left-behind parents have petitioned for the removal of the child back to the batterer's country of residence. All support is given only to the left-behind parent who learns of the loophole in the law and is often the abuser who networks to continue the abuse of women and children. Countries themselves utilize the treaty to trade and negotiate the return of children.

THE SOLUTION: BADLY NEEDED PROVISIONS

 

1. Children not returned and remain in the custody of a Non-Abusive parent if there is evidence of abuse against the child or other parent until courts can access all cases for Domestic Violence. 

 

2. The Hague’s Permanent Bureau should issue imperative legal guidelines considering a “Grave Risk” or an “Intolerable Situation”.

 

4 Prior to relocating to another country families those who are partners to the Hague Convention are given online updated Information to correct misconceptions that parents have the right to return without the permission of other parents. (State Dept)

 

6. Domestic violence organizations, hotlines, provide training on Hague Convention cases. 

 

7. Internationally strengthen a basic set of legal and social services for overseas citizens provide domestic violence resources particularly countries a party to Hague Convention.(including emergency shelter and protection orders, emergency assistance U.S embassies)

 

8. Human rights should be changed from “clear and convincing” to “a preponderance of evidence”

 

9.U.S attorneys receive training and pay attention to patterns of coercive control and emotional terrorizing in addition to the presence of physical violence. Creation of both state and federal judge’s Bench Guides

 

10. Prior to ordering, a return judges who decide to return a child  for custody issues, require the safety and well being of the child and parent(both physical and economic) 

 

11.U.S judges should provide written documentation clearly indicating that a decision to return a child to the habitual residence is not an endorsement of custody for the petitioner. 

 

12. Assistance covering the cost of legal representation should be made available for abused respondent parents JUST AS IT IS FOR THE LEFT BEHIND PARENTS. Legal costs to abused parents to defend against a Hague petition should be paid by the abusive left-behind parent when his or her petition is denied.

Get Help

Are you someone in a similar situation and need to be pointed in a direction for help?  Visit: The Hague Domestic Violence Project 

 

Encouraging word to parents:

I am contacted by parents (mostly mothers) asking my advice about surviving the injustice of the Hague Convention. I take this very seriously and realize these are precious lives struggling deeply. All countries are different in how they will institute the law and how much support they will provide both the left-behind parent and the parent fleeing abuse. 

Get Involved

Are you interested in Domestic Violence globally as a Christian and to share with your group or church? 

 

As a mother of two bicultural boys, I have navigated this life for over 20 years. I understand the challenges facing parents under the Hague Convention on child abduction and the pain it can cause. 

I am passionate about educating families, advocating provisions to the international Hague Law. Survival strategies and ideas to parents while navigating an intolerable situation. 

 

I am a fluent Spanish speaker and understand the challenges of bicultural families. I counsel parents on the best way to navigate the injustices facing bicultural children. 

 

My life passion is advocating provisions and changes in the law. I have lent my voice to legal organizations to better understand more positive outcomes. 

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