Statement on 40th anniversary of Hague Convention on child abduction


October 25, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today issued the following statement:

“Today, we mark the 40th anniversary of the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.  

“Every year, in Canada and abroad, thousands of children are wrongfully taken across international borders by a parent or guardian in violation of rights of custody. This has devastating effects on families, and it is the children who suffer the most. Children must be at the heart of family justice, and mechanisms like the Hague Convention on child abduction are essential in order to assist them in these terrible situations.

“Canada, along with 100 contracting states, continues to support this global effort to protect children from wrongful removal or retention and return them to their country of residence. We continue to call on the global community to join us and to ratify this important convention.

 “We are committed to working with our international partners to continue to protect children and to reinforce the operation of the convention.”

Quick facts

  • The Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty that was signed in The Hague, Netherlands, on October 25, 1980. It establishes procedures for the return of abducted children to the country where they usually reside and secures protection of custody and access rights under the laws of its contracting states.
  • Canada was the second country to ratify the convention, in 1983, and it is now applied in over 100 contracting states. Since the convention came into effect, hundreds of children have been safely returned to Canada thanks to its mechanisms.
  • Canadians can visit International child abduction: A guidebook for left-behind parents online for more information on the tools available to them.

Associated links


Syrine Khoury
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice 

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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