JOIN WITH US IN THE FIGHT TO PROTECT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AND VULNERABLE WOMEN AND CHILDREN FROM AN OUTDATED INTERNATIONAL TREATY CALLED "THE HAGUE CONVENTION" (The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction)
Sign the Petition and Join with Us to bring about Change! #ProtectHagueVictims?
This brand new petition has just been launched by a coalition of 10 organisations around the world who help Hague Mothers and vulnerable families.
We hope that together we can raise awareness of the systemic failures of the Convention and the need for improvements to better protect vulnerable families.
Here at Shiloh Ark of Hope we see many vulnerable women and children impacted each year by the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention is an international treaty that was signed to prevent the wrongful abduction of children from their homes. Today this treaty is being used to force women and children experiencing domestic violence and abuse back into the arms of their abusers.
Our Attorney General recently updated the regulations of the Family Law Act to make provision for the courts to consider domestic violence, however this is not enough. Who defines what domestic violence is?
Even after this change the majority of decisions are left to the country of origin, or where the parent and child fled from to determine if their was violence or abuse. Often these women who are trapped in foreign countries are unable to work, unable to get a visa, face the fear of being deported without their child. Unable to communicate clearly because of language barriers and lacking social and familial support that they would have available to them back in Australia. The person they are fleeing from has often threatened them with the removal of their child.
Women too often face the prospect of having to find a new partner, just to remain in the country they were forced to return to.
Return orders, which are orders drafted that are meant to protect the return parent do not have to be enforced in the country they are returning to.
Most young people and older individuals have not heard of the Hague Conventions and are unaware of the impact that international relationships can have upon themselves and their future children if the relationship falls apart. People are not aware that if they have children in a country that is a signatory to the Hague Convention that they cannot leave that country without a court order granting permission, and that they may not get permission. That if they want to stay with their children they might not be allowed to visit their parents and loved ones again.
We believe that our Government should be placing this information in every travellers passport before they holiday or fly out of Australia.
We believe that there needs to be a thorough investigation and inquiry into how the Hague Convention is currently run, and that stakeholders and interested groups such as those who have put together this petition be involved in the consultation process.
We want our Government to provide Information and warnings about the Hague Convention to all pregnant women via posters and brochures in Medical Centres and hospitals. This would ensure that all parents have the opportunity to consider their options before the birth.
We believe that return orders including protection orders must be approved and registered in the country that the person is being forced to return to as a condition of return.
We believe that if the domestic violence and abuse against either the mother or child is evidence supported then Judges must not be allowed to force the women and children to return. That the Family Law Act, regulations and rules need to be amended to ensure that this is done.
If you or your organisation would like someone to speak to you further about the Hague Convention we would welcome the opportunity. Together we can make a difference and bring Hope!