Welcome to INCADAT

The International Child Abduction Database

International parental child abduction is a global problem affecting several thousand children each year. The primary international instrument, intended to protect children from the harmful effects of their wrongful removal or retention across frontiers, is the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This multilateral treaty, which now has 93 States Parties, does not seek to adjudicate on issues of custody but gives effect to the principle that ordinarily an abducted child should be returned promptly to his / her home State. Once sent back the child's local authorities can determine where and with whom the child should live. The 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention is also designed to secure protection for rights of access.

In 1999, to promote mutual understanding, consistent interpretation and thereby the effective operation of the 1980 Convention, the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law established The International Child Abduction Database (INCADAT). The database makes accessible leading decisions concerning the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention, as well as other decisions relevant to international child abduction.

INCADAT comprises searchable summaries of decisions, links to the full texts of judgments and compendia of legal analysis in English, French and Spanish. Continually updated, INCADAT is used by judges, Central Authorities, legal practitioners, researchers and others interested in this rapidly developing branch of law.
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