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Seven additional Member States have ratified the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children.
The Convention ensures international recognition and enforcement of custody and visitation orders, complements and reinforces the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, and contains provisions addressing cooperation on key issues such as runaway children and the cross-border placement of children in foster families or institutional care.
The Convention was ratified on Friday by Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Romania and Spain. Finland also deposited its instrument of acceptance to the Hague Convention of 13 January 2000 on the International Protection of Adults.
It follows the signing of the Convention last month by the United States of America. The US also recently approved the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance.
In May the US Supreme court upheld the authority of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in a test case in which it ruled a father seeking the return of his son from Chile had a right of custody.
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