Convenciones Internacionales en la materia ratificadas

Convención Interamericana de 1989: NO
Convenio de la Haya de 1980: NO

Applicable internal regulations

In Canada, consular cases of international parental child abduction affect approximately 100 Canadian children and their families per year. The Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the “1980 Hague Convention”) has proven to be a useful mechanism for parents to address international child abduction cases. Most complex child abduction consular cases involve non-Contracting States to the 1980 Hague Convention, in particular, jurisdictions that apply Islamic family laws. Complex child abduction consular cases also arise in countries where the 1980 Hague Convention implementation is weak.

Within the Canada Border Services Agency there are internal policies and procedures regarding international child abduction and return of children however, the Agency does not have any specific government regulations on this.

Specific regulations

Canada has been a signatory to The 1980 Hague Convention since 1983. This Convention provides for a civil application procedure to seek the prompt return of abducted children to the State of their habitual residence, where questions regarding guardianship and access can be determined. Typical child abduction cases in treaty-partner countries require minimal consular assistance except when implementation of the convention is weak or absent. Consular assistance is regularly sought in child abduction cases involving countries that are not party to the 1980 Hague Convention.

Canada promotes the 1980 Hague Convention and its strengthened implementation through bilateral and multilateral initiatives. Through Canada’s engagement in the Malta Process, we also encourage non-Contracting States to develop family mediation structures to assist parents in resolving cross-border child custody and access disputes.

The Hague Convention entered into force in Canada on December 1, 1983 and its application was extended progressively to each of the 13 provinces and territories. The Convention is implemented through legislation adopted by each of the provinces and territories

  • Alberta: International Child Abduction Act, RSA 2000, c. I-4;
  • ritish Columbia: Section 80, Family Law Act, SBC 2011, c. 25;
  • anitoba: Section 17, The Child Custody Enforcement Act, C.C.S.M., c. C360;
  • ew Brunswick: International Child Abduction Act, R.S.N.B. 2011, c. 175;
  • ewfoundland and Labrador:Section 54, Children’s Law Act, RSNL 1990,c C-13
  • orthwest Territories: International Child Abduction Act, RSNWT 1988, c. I-5;
  • ova Scotia: Child Abduction Act, RSNS 1989, c. 67;
  • unavut: International Child Abduction Act, RSNWT (Nu), 1988, c. I-5;
  • ntario: Section 46, Children’s Law Reform Act, RSO 1990, c.12;
  • rince Edward Island: Section 28, Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, R.S.P.E.I.; 1988, c. 33;
  • uébec: An Act Respecting the Civil Aspects of International and Interprovincial Child Abduction, CQLR, c A-23.01;
  • askatchewan: The International Child Abduction Act, SS 1996, c. I-10.11;
  • ukon: International Child Abduction (Hague Convention) Act, SY 2008, c. 5;

Consular Assistance

Consular officials provide consular assistance on request in any case of parental child abduction. Consular officials can request assistance from competent local authorities to conduct welfare visits to assess the child’s health, safety, living conditions, with the consent of a parent or guardian. Consular officials are guided by the Consular Manual, an internal document, which is the definitive source of consular policy for the Government of Canada.

In cases of child abductions to Contracting States, unless there are immediate child welfare and protection concerns, the role of consular officials is generally limited to the provision of information as the left-behind parent typically seeks the return of the child through the 1980 Hague Convention mechanism. The consular official may facilitate communication with the local Central Authority.

In non-Contracting States, consular officials take a more active role in providing ongoing assistance to the left-behind parent. Abduction cases in non-Contracting States pose significant resource burdens on the left-behind parent in particular and a form of resolution may take years. Each case presents its own set of unique challenges (such as dual nationality, domestic laws on child custody matters, religious and cultural traditions) that consular officials navigate. Unfortunately, child custody and access orders from Canada are typically not enforceable in these jurisdictions.

In order to provide additional options to parents and broaden the Hague network, the department promotes the 1980 Hague Convention in countries of concern to Canada. In recent years Canada through its bilateral and partner engagements as well as support of international activities has been successful in encouraging a number of countries to sign the 1980 Hague Convention.

Bilateral agreements

To facilitate the resolution of cases with certain countries, Canada will explore other bilateral options. For example, currently, Canada has agreements in place with the following states that touch on family law matters, which could be of assistance in such cases;

1. Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt regarding cooperation on consular elements of family matters (1997)

2. Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Lebanese Republic regarding cooperation on consular matters of a humanitarian nature (2000)

Canada is a signatory to the Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

The Canada Border Services Agency is one of four government departments who participate in the Our Missing Children (OMC) Program with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Justice, and Global Affairs Canada. The OMC program aims to locate and return missing, abducted or exploited children to their parents or legal guardians.

Information of the Central Authority

Entity 1: Office of the Canadian Federal Central Authority for the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction / Bureau de l’ autorité centrale fédérale du Canada pour la Convention de la Haye sur les aspects civils de l’enlèvement international d’enfants

Direction/Department: Department of Justice Canada / Ministère de la Justice du Canada
Telephone number: (343) 203-2526 or (613) 944-0722
E-mail address: (Main) (to be copied on all correspondence)
Address: Justice Legal Services (JUS). Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
125 Sussex Drive, Tower C, 6th Floor. Ottawa, Ontario. K1A 0G2 Canada
Contact person: Sandra Zed Finless, Senior Counsel (Main contact), Marlon Lewinson, Legal Assistant.
Languages of communication: English (primary language) and French
Fax: (613) 944-0722

Entity 2: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is the lead Agency for the OMC program and can be reached at the email provided below.

Telephone number:
E-mail address:
Contact person:
Languages of communication: English (primary language) and French

Please note that the contact information for Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial Central Authorities (that have case management responsibilities) is available on the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law at:

Additional information from the State on the matter

Our Missing Children program:

The Our Missing Children program is comprised of four Federal Government Departments – Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s NCMPUR Operations; Canada Border Services Agency; Global Affairs Canada; and Department of Justice Canada. Although each Department has their own function, the four departments work together to effectively and efficiently locate and return children to their parents/legal guardians.

Please include the Global Affairs Canada publications, International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents as well as If your child or a child you know goes missing WE CAN HELP.

Engaging non-Contracting Muslim majority countries through the Malta Process
The Malta Process, convened under the aegis of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, aims at improving dialogue and co-operation between Contracting States to the Hague family law Conventions and non-Contracting States of Islamic legal traditions. Based on the Malta Process’ recommendation, the Hague Conference established a Working Party on Cross-Border Family Mediation (Working Party) in 2009. This Working Party has developed family mediation structures to facilitate child access and contact between left-behind parents, children and taking parents in non-Contracting States. Canada has co-Chaired the Working Party since 2009 and in August 2018, Jordan accepted the request from the Hague Conference and Canada to co-Chair the Working Party.

The Working Party is currently comprised of 16 members representing both Contracting States (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) and non-Contracting States (Egypt, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Qatar and Senegal).

In 2010 the Working Party developed the Principles for the Establishment of Mediation Structures in the Context of the Malta Process (Mediation Principles). These Principles promote the establishment of a Central Contact Point for international family mediation to facilitate the provision of information on available family mediation services and other relevant legal information. To date, 11 countries, including Canada, have established or identified a Central Contact Point.

In recent years, in its role as co-Chair of the Working Party, Canada has partnered with other governments, academia and civil society stakeholders, to promote international dialogue and cooperation on international child abduction issues and the 1980 Hague Convention, including through events such as:

  • Gulf Regional Seminar on Protecting the Best Interests of the Child (Qatar, 2016)
  • Southeast Asia Regional Seminar of the Working Party (Malaysia, 2014)
  • Seminar on Islamic Legal Perspectives on Cross-Border Child Abductions (Hague, 2014)
  • Regional meeting of the Working Party in the Maghreb (Tunisia, 2013)

In March 2017 the Working Party agreed to expand its current membership from 14 to 26 members, focusing on increased participation of non-Contracting States such as Bahrain, Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE. To date, Lebanon and Qatar have accepted the invitation to join the Working Party.

Información contenida en respuesta de cuestionario nota DG 98/18.