Last month, Miranda Kaye of our International Steering Group took part in an international webinar, alongside Philippe Lortie of the HCCH (from 29 minutes).
Philippe suggested that the Hague Abduction Convention ‘implement[s] the best interests of the child… all safeguard the right of the child to be heard, to express their wishes’.
Miranda strongly disagreed: ‘the welfare or best interests of the individual child are NOT the focus of Hague proceedings despite that being the guiding principle in domestic family law in most contracting states.’ She went on to explain that ‘harms on return included violence, intimidation, control, financial abuse, homelessness and separation from their children – despite them returning – because orders had been made in their absence’. ‘The law can simply not protect women and children’.
Thank you for your expertise and eloquence Miranda. It is concerning that a senior member of the HCCH appears to be unaware of the realities of the Hague Convention for mothers and children in abusive relationships.