International Protection of Children
What is it about?
To ensure the protection of children requiring assistance in cross-border situations, Switzerland ratified 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 ; RS 0.211.231.01), which entered into force on 4 February 1969.
In order to close certain loopholes in the HC 61, the Hague Conference on Private International Law decided to completely revise this instrument. Accordingly, a new convention was drafted, 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; RS 0.211.231.011). This came into force in Switzerland on 1 July 2009 and replaced the HC 61 in relations with States that have ratified the HC 96 (art. 51 HC 96). Art. 85 FAPIL (Federal Act of 18 December 1987 on International Private Law; RS 291) was also amended at the same time.
Following the example of the HC 61, 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 decisively expand and reinforce international cooperation and mutual assistance.
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