FAQ for Young People

Are you aged 10-16 years old with parents going through a Hague Convention court case in The High Court in London? If yes – this page is for you!

We hope this info will help you feel more clued up about the whole process and how to get help if you need it.

Usually this happens when one parent has taken a child / young person out of the country where they were living to live in another country without the clear permission of the other parent. When this happens, the ‘left behind’ parent can apply to use a law called ‘The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction’ to get the child to go back.

The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction 1980 is an agreement set in law which has been signed by over 100 countries. It aims to stop children being taken out of the country where they are living and if they are taken, the court usually decides to send the children back as quickly as possible.

Sometimes the police come and take passports away. Don’t worry, they will give them back after the court case. Then your parent will go to the High Court in London for the first time. After that your parent will get a letter asking them to take you to London and speak to a Cafcass social worker. Cafcass are an organisation who listen to children and tell the court what children think and feel. After you have spoken to Cafcass they will write a report and give it to the judge within 3 weeks. Then your parent will go to court in London again. Sometimes your other parent will come to the court, but not always. The judge will listen to both parents and decide which is the best country to make decisions about your life. The judge will usually decide that you should return, but not always.