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Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, has announced that Cabinet has approved Jamaica’s accession to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1980.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, on October 29, the Minister explained that the Hague Convention is an agreement, which creates a framework for the prompt return of a child abducted by a parent, guardian or close relative. “There are now 80 countries which are parties to the Convention, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago,” Miss Grange said.
The Minister noted further that this Convention applies to any child up to the age of 16, “who was habitually resident in a Contracting Party before breach of custody or access agreements. It applies where the child was wrongfully removed from the country of habitual residence, therefore breaching the custodial rights of a person or institution.”
Accession to the Convention, she said, allows for the expeditious return of Jamaican children unlawfully removed from their custodial parents, and would serve as a deterrent to parents unlawfully removing children to Jamaica. “This will lead to greater protection of, and prevention of abuse of Jamaican children, both at home and abroad,” she added.
On another matter, the Minister informed that Cabinet took note of an interim indemnity agreement for the Board of Directors of Air Jamaica. “This will be executed by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, pending exploration of the provision of such coverage on the international market, as this is not available locally,” Miss Grange said.