What does Signatories to the Hague Convention Mean? Which Countries are Member Countries?
If a parent (or guardian) takes a child from their home in Australia to another country without the permission of either a Court or the other parent (or guardian) it is International Child Abduction.
Australia is a signatory to the International Treaty on Child Abduction, known as the Hague Convention.
More than 70 other countries are also signatories to the Hague Convention.
The Hague Convention makes it easier to recover a child from a country which is a signatory to the Hague Convention than if the child is taken to a non Hague Convention country.
When a child has been either:
- Abducted; or
- kept overseas for a longer than agreed;
then the Hague Convention enables a parent to make an application to have their child returned to Australia.
You can only do this if the country your child is in is a Hague Convention Country.
Countries who have signed the Hague Convention with Australia
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is in force between Australia and the States listed below:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong (China)
- Macau (China)
- Moldova, Republic of
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea (from 1 June 2015)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- San Marino
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Countries who have acceded to the Convention, but it is not yet in force between these Countries and Australia
If your Child has been abducteto one of the following countries you cannot seek their return to Australia under the Hague Convention.
- Seychelles – acceded in May 2008
- Morocco – acceded in March 2010
- Gabon – acceded in December 2010
- Andorra – acceded in April 2011
- Russia – acceded in July 2011
- Guinea – acceded in November 2011
- Lesotho – acceded in June 2012
- Kazakhstan – acceded in June 2013
- Iraq – acceded in March 2014
- Zambia – acceded in August 2014
Egypt & Lebanon
Australia has bilateral agreements on child welfare with both Egypt and Lebanon, those bilateral agreements being known as the Australia-Egypt Agreement and the Austraia-Lebanon Agreement.
For more information on the Hague Convention
For more information on the Hague Convention, including a status table for each signatory country, click here to read the full text of the Convention.
If your child has been taken to a Hague Convention Country then read our information sheet about what you need to do to recover them under the Hague Convention.
We also have a information sheet on the situation if your child is taken to a Non Hague Convention Country.
Relocation, International & Domestic Child Abduction: More Information
We also have the following pages providing additional information in relation to both Relocation of a Parent with a Child within Australia (domestically) and International Child Abduction:
- List of Hague Convention Countries
- What happens when a Child is taken to a Hague Convention Country
- What happens when a Child is taken to a Non-Hague Convention Country
- How to get a Passport for a Child
- How to make a Special Circumstances Application for a Child Passport
- Stopping a Child Travelling overseas: Child already has Passport
- Stopping a Child Travelling Overseas: No Passport for Child Issued yet
- Court Orders regarding Passports and Overseas Travel Orders
- Matters considered by Courts regarding issuing a Passport or making an Overseas Travel Order
- Can I stop the other Parent Relocating with my Child
- We’re on friendly terms – Do I worry about possible relocation
- The other parent might relocate: Do I need to do anything?
- Court Orders about Relocation explained in full
- How does a Court decide Relocation Cases if a Parent moves away or wants to move away
- Documenting your Parenting Agreement in a Binding and Enforceable way
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All Topics in the Child Issues Section
- Types of Parental Responsibility Orders
- Child’s Time with Parents: Shared Care or not
- Grandparents: Rights to see Grandchildren
- Documenting a Parenting Agreement
- Best Interests of the Children
- Relocation of a Parent with a Child
- Change of a Child’s Surname
- Child Passports & Overseas Travel after Separation or Divorce
- How to change a Final Parenting Order previously made by the Court
- International Child Abduction