Introduction to the Cross Border Family Mediation: Guide to Good Practice under the Child Abduction Convention
Presented by Maureen Dabbagh
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
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In 2009, the Council on General Affairs and Policy of the Hague Conference on Private International Law authorized the establishment of a Working Party to promote the development of mediation structures to help resolve cross-border family disputes concerning custody of, or contact with, children, including cases of unilateral removal of a child to another State, where the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and the Hague Convention. Research indicates that the vast percentage of children kidnapped across international borders by a parent or relative come from bicultural homes with each parent holding different nationalities. With 1 in 7 marriages reported as bicultural in the USA in 2010, international family law, especially child custody has expanded to include cross border family mediation. The effects on the child include a large range of attachment disorders. Defined as child abuse, parental kidnapping is addressed in civil and criminal law. Prevention of abduction is examined through Hague mediation. Post abduction presents unique challenges which predispose traditional family mediation as being inappropriate, according to the American Bar Association, Center on Children and the law.
This presentation examines when a family mediator becomes a crisis negotiator using the presenter’s case studies. As well, we will explore the PRINCIPLES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MEDIATION STRUCTURES IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MALTA PROCESS as an extension of international treaty; The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects on International Parental Abduction to which nearly 100 countries, including the United States is a party to. Participate will be introduced to:
- International standards and guidelines in mediating cases of child custody disputes across international borders.
- Organizations, laws, programs, and protocols specific to cross border family mediation
- Specific characteristics found in high conflict families
- Intimate cultural practices, religious disputes, and other issues found in cross border child custody disputes
- Security and safety concerns in mediating with high conflict families