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Martin George & Company > Laws of Trinidad and Tobago  > T&T SIGNS ON TO CHILD-ABDUCTION PACT


AFTER 18 months of discussion, Trinidad and Tobago has been accepted by the United States to the accession to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects on International Child Abduction.

The announcement was one of several made yesterday following talks between Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and US Vice-President Joe Biden at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

The accession, which makes T&T the 69th to be accepted by the US, would have happened sooner as the US expressed interest in partnering with Trinidad and Tobago. However, discussions only began in November 2011 when the head of the central authority was appointed.

According to the International Child Abduction Act, 2008, a central authority known as the Civil Child Abduction Authority, was established in the Ministry of the Attorney General to deal with all matters relating to the civil aspects of international child abduction between Trinidad and Tobago and other countries.

Under this authority to date, Trinidad and Tobago has partnered with 48 member states. The accession was confirmed in Cabinet note No. 121 dated May 21, 2013.

The convention, also known as The Hague Abduction Convention, is a multilateral treaty developed by the  Hague Conference on Private International Law which provides an expeditious method of returning a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member nation to another. The convention, however, covers children under the age of 16 only.

The birth of the convention came as incidents of such abductions continued to grow with the ease of international travel, the increase in bi-cultural marriages and the rise in the divorce rate.

In commenting on the accession, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said it is a signal of the continued strengthening of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

He added that it was a step towards ensuring international security of our citizens “by protecting the most vulnerable sect within our two societies—children”.

Extracted From: Trinidad Express Newspaper

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