UK / Pakistan – BHC calls for laws to stem child abductions

Source: The Nation

“Only two Muslim countries have ratified the Hague Convention”

ISLAMABAD (PPI) – British High Commissioner Adam Thomson has said that legislation is inevitable to curb the rising incidents of international child abduction.

He said this while addressing a seminar organized by SACH, an NGO, in collaboration with British High Commission here on Wednesday. Khalida Salimi, Executive Director SACH, Ahmer Bilal Sufi, President Research Society of International Law, Justice (Retd) Syed Manzoor Hussain Gillani and others were present on the occasion.

Addressing on the occasion, the British High Commissioner said that ratification of Hague Convention on the civil aspects of International Child Abduction Convention, 1980 will benefit both the countries, Pakistan and United Kingdom.

He said that over one million Pakistanis are living in UK, adding both the countries are tied in different strong bonds.

He further said that in the multi-culture marriages increase the incidents of abduction of children, adding during the last year 55 incidents of child abduction were reported between Pakistan and UK.

More cases are coming from Pakistan, he said, adding there is a very little hope that abducted children will return.

‘We talk about the mutual interests, UK and Pakistan are one family and law provides the bridges between the two countries”, he said.

He hoped Pakistan will become a global partner by ratifying Hague convention.

He was optimistic that this step would further cement ties between the both countries.

Earlier, Ahmer Bilal and Justice (Retd) Syed Manzoor Hussain Gilani addressing the seminar said that the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (October 25, 1980) was according to law of Pakistan and Islam.

They called for ratifying the said Convention to ensure children rights.

Ahmer Bilal also discussed the legal obstacles in the ratification of the Hague Convention.

Khalida Salimi shared the objectives of the constitution. Majid Bashir gave a presentation on The Hague Convention on the Civil aspects of international Child abduction. He said it meant to secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in any contracting state as well as to ensure that rights of custody and of access under the law of one contracting state are effectively respected in other contracting states.

He emphasized the need to ratify the convention in order to implement measures to enable parents currently separated from their children to maintain contact with them, ensure visitation rights and resolve their cases in any country.

Zulfiqar Naqvi and Zafarullah Khan Advocate discussed the barriers in handling any international parental child abduction case in the absence of the 1980 Hague Convention and urged the need for such a campaign to increase public awareness of the Convention by provision of information to the stakeholders. Ali Sultan, a speaker informed that only two Muslim countries have ratified the Hague Convention.

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