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Cross-border child protection

The 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children ('the Hague Convention') (implemented in the UK on 1 November 2012) provides an agreed set of legal provisions and cooperation arrangements to cover the handling of cross-border cases where children's safety or welfare may be an issue.

Non-statutory advice from the Department for Education: The 1996 Hague Convention - Departmental Advice is designed to help local authorities when dealing with cross-border child protection cases.

The advice sets out the key steps that local authorities can take to:

  1. Ask for help or essential information from authorities abroad when dealing, for example, with a child from this country who is in need of support or protection; and 
  2. Respond to similar requests put to them by authorities abroad.

In addition to the 1996 Hague Convention advice, the guidance on Working with Foreign Authorities:  Child Protection Cases and Care Orders recommends that for children with links to a foreign country (e.g. foreign national child, a child with dual nationality or a British child of foreign national parents/origin) social worker should consider informing the relevant Embassy and work with colleagues abroad when exploring potential placements for a child with family members abroad.

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