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The civil aspect of international child abduction is not an age old problem. But it is growing bigger with coming days. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction particularly addresses child abduction when parents unlawfully take them out of their habitual residence.

The convention is already proved very handy in resolving these problems between contracting state [2]. The development of Hague Convention was inevitable [3]. Although, a significant increase in the number of parental child abduction involving South Asian countries has been observed in recent days, large portion of it from Bangladesh, India [4] and Pakistan [5] , but these countries are yet to sign the convention. This study first gives a glimpse on the basics of Hague Convention and its relevance to South Asian countries.

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It discusses the how best interest of the child principles has been incorporated and interpreted in several private and public international law documents. In its next part, this study focuses on custodial laws of Bangladesh, which are mostly the domestic custodial issues along with some case studies.

In doing so, this study demonstrates the best practices of the court in custodial issues. Thereafter it concentrates on the position of Bangladesh in cross-border civil aspect of child abduction. At last, it concludes with a recommendation that how Bangladesh should approach to solve inter-country child abduction problems.

Sometimes these incidents leave parties clueless that what should be the proper course of action. But in the whole discourse, one must not forget the best interest of the child.


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However, this convention is willing to achieve, aside from protecting rights of access [7] , to protect children from the harmful effects of cross-border abductions. Moreover, an abductor cannot insulate the child from the return provisions by obtaining a custody order in the country of new residence. Article 17 provides that the Requested State must deny returning a child simply based on the award of the court custody to the alleged wrongdoer.

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However, article 17 does permit a court to consider the reasons underlying an existing custody decree when it applies the Convention. On the contrary, it has the concern about wrongful custody of a parent by depriving the custody of others. The abduction of a child by a parent to prevent access to the child for the other parent leads to the situation of parental child abduction [16]. Finkelhor, Hotaling, and Sedlak find, [17] civil abductions by parents arises in the following situations.

First, it may occur when a parent takes the attempt to hide the whereabouts of the child and to prevent another parent from contacting the child. Generally, the abductor takes the child to a different place within the same country [19]. Article 21 of the convention has dealt the refusal to access to the child by the parent who is exercising the custodial right.

Upon the arrival of that situation, a parent, whose custodial rights have been prevented by another parent, may file an application to the central authority for the peaceful enjoyment of the custodial right.

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The Central Authority is duty bound to remove, as far as possible, all the barriers that create hindrance on the exercise of such right [20]. It shall, directly or through any other mediam, work with the other agencies in order to secure such right [21]. The term Wrongflul Removal has also been discussed in following paragraph. Article 3 illustrates the scope of application of the Hague Convention: The removal or the retention of a child is to be considered wrongful where-. While determining whether there has been a wrongful removal or retention within the meaning of Article 3, the judicial or administrative authorities of the requested State may take notice directly of the law of, and of judicial or administrative decisions [24] , formally recognized or not in the State of the habitual residence of the child, without recourse to the specific procedures for the proof of that law or for the recognition of foreign decisions which would otherwise be applicable [25].

Contracting States shall take all appropriate measures to secure within their territories the implementation of the objects of the Convention [28]. In this regard, pursuant to the terms of the Hague Convention, each signatory country must have a Central Authority, a place that acts as a headquarters for all Hague-related matters and fulfills the duties imposed on the Convention country by the Convention [29].

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The Convention itself was also built in large measure upon the intervention and powers of Central Authorities [30]. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction talks about the establishment of central authority in each member state [31] in its article Xl. It says that the court or administrative authority dealing this issue shall maintain a speedy process to return the child [32]. Article IX of the Hague Convention authorises the Central Authority of the State, where the request is made, to ask a statement for delay if any resolution on the application has not been made within six weeks from the commencement of the proceedings If the child is not returned to his or her state of habitual residence.

However, the aggrieved parent must first create a request to the central authority or its representative to apply the Convention [33].

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The central authority then initiates proceedings to determine whether the Convention mandates the child be returned to the aggrieved parent or whether an exception to the Convention applies and the child may remain with its abductor. The creation of the central authority was intended to shift communication from diplomatic and consular channels to judicial and administrative channels. According to Hague convention the Central Authorities shall accomplish the following duties i trace out the abductor and the abducted child ii start procedure according to the convention to return the child to his habitual place of residence, [35] iii facilitating the safe return of the child [36].

Therefore, it is imperative that central authorities act quickly and have the staff and resources needed to fulfill all the assigned functions effectively [39]. The chapter concludes by suggesting accession to the international conventions rather than embarking upon exclusive regional efforts alone. UWA Law School. Fingerprint private law. South Asia.


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    This book shows how, with the increasing interaction between jurisdictions spearheaded by globalization, it is gradually becoming impossible to confine transactions to a single jurisdiction. Presented in the form of a compendium of essays by eminent academics and practitioners in the field, it provides a detailed overview of private, international law practice in South Asian nations, addressing contemporary discourse within this knowledge domain.

    The research presented addresses the three major threads of private international law — jurisdiction, choice of law and enforcement — within each of the South Asian countries in the areas of family law and commercial law. The research in family law domain includes traditional areas such as marriage, divorce and maintenance, as well as some of the contemporary concerns in this region — inter-country child retrieval, surrogacy, and the country statement on accession to the Hague Conventions related to this domain.