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12 DEC 2007

CONTACT: Bajrami v Albania

(European Court of Human Rights; 12 December 2007)

Following the separation of the Albanian parents the mother and her parents refused the father access to the child. The father brought divorce proceedings, and warned the authorities that the mother was planning to take the child to Greece without his consent, requesting that they block the mother's passport. However, some months later the mother moved to Greece with the child. The Albanian court eventually gave the father custody of the child, but the authorities took no steps to enforce the judgment over the following 2 years, notwithstanding that the father regularly took steps himself to secure the return of child. Albania had failed to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, or to become a party to the Hague Convention. There was no alternative framework to secure the reunion of parents with their children.

There had been a violation of Art 8. The Convention required states to take all necessary measures to secure the reunion of parents with their children in accordance with the final judgment of a domestic court.

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