Today sees the 1996 Hague Convention come into force, which means that countries outside of the EU which have also opted in to the treaty will be able to uphold and enforce orders relating to the protection of a child. The UK will also be upholding the agreement in reciprocal fashion by providing the same level of protection for children from other countries.
The Ministry of Justice’s press release on the matter sums up the court decisions which will be enforceable very neatly:
- 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
- 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
- who is to be the guardian of the child, who is to look after the child or the child’s property or represent the child, and what they are allowed to do
- the placement of a child in a foster family or in institutional care or in wider family care such as kafala or similar
- the management of the child’s property for the purposes of the protection of the child.
This is of course a good thing where Orders are properly made, but may perpetuate problematic decisions, too.