COVID-19 and International Child Abduction: Children’s Stories

Allison Wolfreys is a Lecturer in Law in the OU Law School and a member of the European Children’s Rights Unit, a research-intensive cluster located within the University of Liverpool’s School of Law and Social Justice. Members of the unit have produced a series of briefings outlining the impact of COVID-19 on different aspects of children’s lives and rights. The range of publications highlight the profound and distinct effects and potential legacy of this pandemic for children and explore how legal protections and processes available to children can be strengthened.

The European Children’s Rights Unit briefings cover the following topics:

  1. Protecting Children Online During COVID-19 – Katrina Miles
  2. The Impact of COVID-19 on Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – Seamus Byrne
  3. The Impact of COVID-19 on Educational Inequality and the Attainment Gap – Matilda Clough
  4. The Impact of COVID-19 on Children’s and Families’ Access to Justice – Kerry Barry & Deborah Lawson
  5. The Coronavirus Act 2020 and Child Detention under the Mental Health Act (MHA) 1983 – Nazia Yaqub
  6. The Impact of COVID-19 on asylum seeking children – Helen Stalford
  7. Children’s Freedom of Assembly During COVID-19 – Aoife Daly & Rachel Heah
  8. COVID-19 and Safeguarding Children’s Rights in Research – Leona Vaughn
  9. COVID-19 and International Child Abduction: Children’s Stories – Allison Wolfreys

Taken together, these briefings highlight some overarching concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on children’s rights in the UK.

Allison’s paper, ‘COVID-19 and International Child Abduction: Children’s Stories’, considers two recent High Court cases conducted remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown that concern international parental child abduction which is governed by the Hague Convention on Child Abduction 1980 (The Convention). The cases shed some light on the currency of the rights of children to participate in decisions around whether they should be returned to where they were living prior to the abduction. The Convention’s purpose is to secure the prompt return of a child if they have been wrongfully removed or retained by a parent.

Download ‘COVID-19 and International Child Abduction: Children’s Stories’

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