Hague Convention on Child Abduction – mediation and preventive measures

Whenever the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is being applied, mediation as a way to resolve the conflict needs to be emphasised. 

There are attempts to establish standards of good practice under the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and they apply many aspects of such cases, such ranging from preventive measures to mediation.

This link shows one of them, regarding the preventive measures:


However, focusing on the mediation in the Hague Convention Cases, it is recommended that it be based on elevated standards.

The role and importance of mediation are widely recognised and what will be the most important in its conduct, will be the interests and welfare of the child, and the mediator should encourage parents to focus on the needs of children and remind them that their main duty is to look after the well-being of children, and remind parent about their duty to inform children and seek their opinions.

The mediator conducting mediation in matters of child abduction must draw the parties’ attention to the need to take into account the legal situation existing in both (in all) legal systems concerned. To this end, the parties must have access to relevant legal information.

It is also obvious that in highly conflict-prone cases of international child abduction, co-mediation should be encouraged, if possible.

The effect of the mediation is an agreement that should be enforceable and create guarantees that the abduction will not happen again. To achieve this, it may be necessary to establish appropriate safeguards in a mediation agreement. Such safeguards may include, for example, the retention of a passport or travel documents, while applying to foreign consulates / embassies for not issuing a new passport / travel documents to the child; imposing an obligation on the applicant parent to report regularly to the police station or the headquarters of another authority during contact with the child; deposit collateral or guarantee in cash; contacting the supervision of a specialist or family member; introducing restrictions on places where a parent can visit a child, etc.

The provisions of the mediation agreement should be prepared in such a way that it can obtain legal effect and become enforceable in the relevant jurisdictions. It is strongly recommended that before concluding an agreement, the parties be given time to reflect, so as to enable them to seek specialist legal advice on all legal consequences and whether the content of their “initial agreement” complies with applicable law in different legal systems, connected with this particular case. The measures necessary to give the agreement legal effect and enforceability in the relevant jurisdictions should be taken as soon as possible and before the implementation of the agreement.