International Protection of Children
What is it about?
To ensure the protection of children requiring assistance in cross-border situations, Switzerland ratified the Convention of 19 October 1996 on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (HC 96; CC 0.211.231.011). This came into force in Switzerland on 1 July 2009.
The HC 96 aims to prevent conflicts between the authorities of the various Contracting States in matters relating to the protection of the person or property of the child. To this end, it contains provisions that regulate jurisdiction, applicable law and recognition and enforcement of foreign measures. In practice, however, the questions are often not related to jurisdiction and applicable law, but rather to the difficulties in obtaining all relevant information about the child and his or her personal and economic situation or in implementing the necessary protective measures in a foreign State. The HC 96 creates a clear structure that promotes and facilitates the international exchange of information and opinions as well as the co-operation between the judicial and administrative authorities concerned with child protective measures.
In respect to jurisdiction, applicable law and recognition and enforcement of foreign decisions, Art. 85 para 1 of the Federal Act of 18 December 1987 on Private International Law (FAPIL; CC 291) explicitly refers to the HC 96. The HC 96 applies in any case to the relations between contracting States.
The HC 96 replaces the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 concerning the powers of authorities and the law applicable in respect of the protection of infants (HC 61 ; CC 0.211.231.01). The HC 61 remains applicable only in relation to Macao (People’s Republic of China).
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