United States and Japan Now Hague Abduction Convention Partners

On April 1, 2014, the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Convention) will enter into force between the United States and Japan. The United States will have 73 partners under the Convention.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy stated on March 31 “I applaud the work of all those in Japan who have made the implementation of the Convention possible and congratulate Japan as it becomes a Hague Convention partner of the United States.  This achievement reflects our shared commitment to caring for our children no matter their family circumstances.  The United States looks forward to working together with our Japanese partners in the spirit of the Hague convention on the existing cases of children brought to Japan without the permission of both parents.”

The Convention is the primary civil law mechanism for parents seeking the return of children who have been abducted from or wrongfully retained outside their country of habitual residence by another parent or family member. Parents seeking access to children residing in treaty partner countries may also invoke the Convention. The Convention is critically important because it establishes an internationally recognized legal framework to resolve parental abduction cases. The Convention does not address who should have custody of the child; rather it addresses where issues of child custody should be heard.

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs is the Central Authority for the United States under the Convention.  For more information about international parental child abduction, please visit: childabduction.state.gov.