28. CONVENTION ON THE CIVIL ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION1 (Concluded 25 October 1980) The States signatory to the present Convention, Firmly convinced that the interests of children are of paramount importance in matters relating to their custody, Desiring to protect children internationally from the harmful effects of their wrongful removal or retention and to establish procedures to ensure their prompt return to the State of their habitual residence, as well as to secure protection for rights of access, Have resolved to conclude a Convention to this effect, and have agreed upon the following provisions – CHAPTER I – SCOPE OF THE CONVENTION Article 1 The objects of the present Convention are – a) to secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in any Contracting State; and b) to ensure that rights of custody and of access under the law of one Contracting State are effectively respected in the other Contracting States. Article 2 Contracting States shall take all appropriate measures to secure within their territories the implementation of the objects of the Convention. For this purpose they shall use the most expeditious procedures available. Article 3 The removal or the retention of a child is to be considered wrongful where – a) it is in breach of rights of custody attributed to a person, an institution or any other body, either jointly or alone, under the law of the State in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal or retention; and b) at the time of removal or retention those rights were actually exercised, either jointly or alone, or would have been so exercised but for the removal or retention. The rights of custody mentioned in sub-paragraph a) above, may arise in particular by operation of law or by reason of a judicial or administrative decision, or by reason of an agreement having legal effect under the law of that State. 1 This Convention, including related materials, is accessible on the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (www.hcch.net), under “Conventions” or under the “Child Abduction Section”. For the full history of the Convention, see Hague Conference on Private International Law, Actes et documents de la Quatorzième session (1980), Tome III, Child abduction (ISBN 90 12 03616 X, 481 pp.).

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