Child abduction can happened nationally and internationally.
Child abduction that occurs nationally is usually resolved by application to a family law court for a recovery order. The Australian Federal Police will recover the child if the abductor does not voluntarily return the child.
International child abduction is covered by the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Abduction Convention) of which Australia, along with most of Europe and the United States, are signatories.
Many Australians are unaware that many Asian countries are not signatories to this Convention and as a result, it is difficult to recover children removed to such countries.
The Hague Convention is a treaty under which mutual arrangements are made for the recovery of children who have been wrongfully removed and/or retained from their country of habitual residence.
The International Family Law Section of the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department is the Central Authority for Australia (CCA) which handles Hague Convention applications.
If you are concerned about your child being wrongfully removed, you can take practical and legal steps such as not signing passport applications, placing the child’s name on the airport watch list, advising the consulate of any foreign country you think somebody might seek a passport for a child through, that you do not consent.
Freedom Law can provide you with more information about recovery orders and child abduction.