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Improving the protection of children across borders

Children from the UK will now have international protection if they move to another country outside the European Union.

The 1996 Hague Convention came into force in the UK on 1st November 2012, meaning that countries which have opted in to the treaty will uphold and enforce a court order involving the protection of a child.

The Government has welcomed the move to better protect children across borders and will honour the agreement by providing the same protection in the UK for children from other countries.

A wide range of court decisions involving children moving from and to participating countries outside the European Union will now be enforced under the 1996 Hague Convention, including:

  • who can have parental responsibility, to what extent and how it can be used,
  • rights of custody including rights relating to the care of the child and in particular the right to decide the child's place of residence, and
  • rights of access, which are rights about contact with the child, including the right to take the child for a limited period of time to a place other than where the child is habitually resident.
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