Conference on the well-being of children in international child abduction cases - Antwerp - 23/24 November 2017


Every year, thousands of children in the European Union become the victim of an international child abduction by a parent. The 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention and the Brussels IIa Regulation can help to solve these issues.

The outcomes of the procedures will, to a great extent, influence the daily lives of children: the country they will live in, the language they will speak, the family members and relatives they will have regular contact with. But the procedure itself as well as the way it is carried out can also influence the future lives of children who were once abducted.

The increasing political focus on the rights of the child amplifies the importance of information on the needs and wishes of children in all matters affecting them directly.

In relation to the Brussels IIa recast and building on the results of former research studies, Child Focus, the University of Antwerp, Center IKO, CFPE-Enfants Disparus, Missing Children Europe and the French Central Authority are conducting a large-scale research study on the psychological effects of an international child abduction on the well-being of abducted children.

This research study will enable project partners to gather concrete information on the specific aspects of an international child abduction influencing the well-being of children. The final goal of this research project is to formulate recommendations and create good practices for legal and other professionals who deal with cases on avoiding possible trauma for the children involved.

The results of this research will be presented at a conference on November 23nd and 24rd 2017 in Antwerp.

The focus of this conference will be on:

  • the interaction with children in judicial proceedings;
  • interdisciplinary training on the needs of children in cases of international child abduction;
  • proceedings that are adapted to those needs.

The target audience of this conference would include:

  • legal professionals (judges, lawyers, Central Authorities) involved in cases of international child abduction in Europe;
  • other professionals (mediators, police officers, law enforcement officers) involved in cases of international child abduction in Europe.