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What is the purpose of the Hague Child Abduction Convention and why does it matter?

The objectives of the Convention are:

a. to secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in any Contracting State; and

b. to ensure that rights of custody and of access under the law of one Contracting State are effectively respected in the other Contracting States.

Important Note: You must file for a return within one year from the date of the wrongful removal or retention. The Hague return order does not determine which parent should have custody of the child, but to return the child to his/her country of habitual residence so that the appropriate court of competent jurisdiction can render a decision on all custody and/or visitation matters.

We believe that a court in the country of a child’s habitual residence is, in most cases, the best place to make decisions on matters of custody and access. For more information, please refer here.

For a comprehensive overview of the process, please refer to the Japan Central Authority website at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.

Online Resources

A brief video by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that explains the Hague Child Abduction Convention.

• Movie: “Let’s study the Hague Child Abduction Convention! ~Overview~”