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The Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (hereinafter "Hague Convention") is an international treaty adopted on 24th October 1980 by the Fourteenth Session of the Hague Conference on private international law. 

The Hague Convention seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return. 

Moreover, the Hague Convention aims to ensure that the rights of custody under the law of one Contracting State are respected in the other Contracting States even when there is no bound to order the return of the child under article 13 of the Hague Convention. 

For example, the return shall not be ordered when there's a risk of exposing the child to physical or psychological harm.

Where the child has his or her habitual residence in the territory of a EU Member State, the Hague Convention still applies as complemented by the provisions of the Council Regulation 2201/2003.

In addition, a matter under the Hague Convention can also fall within the scope of the European Convention of Human Rights; that's why a family lawyer shall dig deep into all the international instruments on children's and parents' rights and the connection between them.

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Martina Vivirito Pellegrino

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