Washington, D.C. 2010

Improving the judicial response to cross-border family relocation

On 23-25 March 2010, we joined forces with the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the U.S. Department of State to host a judicial conference on cross-border family relocation.

More than fifty people including legal experts, directors of organizations that protect children, and diplomats came together to look at the cluster of legal issues surrounding the international relocation of children, including the parental abduction of children across borders.

Out of that gathering emerged the Washington Declaration, a statement of first principles focused on improving the ways in which the international judicial community addresses this growing challenge. The Declaration endorsed the Hague Conventions of 1980 on Child Abduction and 1996 on International Child Protection. It also called for strengthening legal procedures that take the child’s welfare into account.

The complete text of the Washington Declaration is available in English, French and Spanish.

A special edition of The Judges’ Newsletter (a publication of Publication of the Hague Conference on Private International Law) was also published and is available in English.