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The Hague Abduction Convention and the enabling of abuse.

Submission to UNSR VAWG.

Reem Alsalem, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls recently completed a fact-finding visit to the UK. Our submission included the stories of two Hague mothers whose lives and freedom of movement are now entirely controlled by their abusive ex-partners, enabled by international law.

“I fear that freedom from his abuse may never come. If there are children involved, abusers know that they can still manipulate and control our lives through the legal system, finances, and the children themselves.”

Our proposals included:

  • an automatic right to legal aid for ‘taking parents’
  • mandated training in domestic abuse for both judges and lawyers dealing with Hague cases. 
  • changes to the implementation of the Convention in the UK to ensure that the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985 is compatible with the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. This particularly relates to the definition of domestic abuse, and the recognition that children living with domestic abuse are victims in their own right.

The submission is here.

Our thanks to the mothers who shared their stories with us.


The Hague Mothers Campaign

Hague Mothers is a FiLiA legacy project. Our overarching aim is to end the injustices created by The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, specifically for mothers and children who are victims of domestic abuse. Our initial focus was on the UK, USA and Australia – we are now working globally.



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Read the latest campaign updates and listen to the Hague Mothers episodes of the FiLiA Podcast.


A FiLiA Legacy Project

FiLiA is an UK-based woman-led volunteer organisation with international reach and part of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Our vision is a world free from patriarchy where all women and girls are liberated. Our mission is to (1) Build sisterhood & solidarity (locally, nationally, globally) (2) Amplify the voices of women (particularly those less often heard or purposefully silenced) (3) Defend women’s human rights. Our volunteer team has organised a Feminist conference since 2013.


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