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Cross Border Child Protection - International Conference



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International Conference

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Given the increasing migration flows around the world, the promotion and effective implementation of international instruments such as the Hague Conventions remain essential to provide the best support to families and children.

The Hague Convention of 1996 on parental responsibility matters and child protection measures (the 'HC-1996') covers a wide range of issues related to the cross-border protection of children and concerns particularly children at heart of international family conflicts, who have been subject of international abduction or cross-border placement, refugee children and unaccompanied minors and others. The 'HC-1996' contains many aspects that are intended to enable a global protection of children:

  • The best interest of the child as a founding principle;
  • Its cooperation mechanism between administrative and judicial authorities of different countries to avoid conflicts between legal systems;
  • Its universal vocation whilst recognizing the diversity of legal systems and institutions worldwide;
  • Its explicit mention of the use of mediation as a means of solving international family conflicts.

However, in practice, the application of the 'HC-1996' is limited due to its ratification by only 41 countries and to the lack of cooperation among authorities of different countries and within the same country. Furthermore, there seems to be a need for ongoing training for professionals. Unfortunately, the current situation results often in decisions made to the detriment of the child.

Therefore, the General Secretariat of the International Social Service, with more than 90 years of expertise in the treatment of transnational child protection and family conflict cases throughout its network, decided to organize an international conference in order to promote the strengthening and effective implementation of the 'HC-1996' by reuniting all concerned actors (from government, the legal sector, academia and social practice) and facilitating dialogue and exchange on the socio-legal dimensions of child-protection between them.

The Conference will focus on the analysis of the 'HC-1996' practical operation through specific themes, including its synergies and complementarities to other legal instruments, such as the Brussels II A Regulation and the Hague Convention of 1980, as well as through showcasing international social work within the 'HC-1996' cooperation mechanism.

Also part of discussions will be the recourse to international family mediation, reason for which the General Secretariat decided to hold, in parallel, an international workshop, reuniting experts from across the world, with the purpose to draft a Charter on International Family Mediation Processes, which will represent a major step towards strengthening and standardising mediation practice in transnational family contexts.

International child protection is an interdisciplinary field and hosting the two events in one place at the same time will evidently create a multidisciplinary platform that will generate common opportunities of work during the plenary sessions and well as a cross-sectorial analysis of some issues.

You will find here the agenda of the Conference.

The socio-legal framework of the 1996 Convention

The role of the 1996 Convention in international custody, access and relocation cases

International child abduction – ensuring the safe return of the child

Promoting the 1996 Convention in non-Contracting States – current state of play and new horizons

The relevance of the 1996 Convention in Islamic legal systems

Round table: Ensuring the harmonious development of the child worldwide – Example: best interests of the child and the right to be heard

International co-operation between authorities including Central Authorities, local authorities, Consulates and Embassies

International co-operation among judges – the value of judges networks and direct judicial communication

The socio-legal dimension of international child protection – an ISS perspective (panel discussion)
Moderator: Mr S. Yau, CEO, ISS Hong Kong

The protection of particularly vulnerable children including refugee children, unaccompanied minors, victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse

Complementarities and synergies between the 1996 Convention and the Brussels IIa Regulation – in the light of practical experiences

Cross-border placement of children in practice

Building the bridge between "habitual residence" and "substantial connection"

The Way Forward
Promotion, development and monitoring of the 1996 Convention: Ideas and vision

The role of mediation in solving international custody, access and relocation cases under the 1996 Convention

Mediation in international child abduction cases: ways to reach an amicable solution within a strict timeframe

You will find here the Conclusions and Recommendations of the Conference in English, French and Spanish.

You can also see here the Recommendations to States of the International Family Mediation Workshop.

  • To ISS Publications Shop.
  • Professor G.P. Romano : Conflicts between parents and between legal orders in respect of parental responsibility in English and French.
  • The European Group for Private International Law - Declaration on the Legal Status of Applicants for International Protection from Third Countries to the European Union in English and French.
  • "Santiago Meeting" - Latin American Meeting on the International Protection of Children and the Recovery of Maintenance Abroad.

Hervé Boéchat:
Hervé is a Swiss lawyer with more than a decade of experience in the field of child protection. After several missions for the ICRC and working for the Swiss Federal Department of Justice, he joined the ISS Team in 2005 and assumed the functions of Under Secretary General and Director of the International Reference Centre of the rights of the children deprived of their family.

Jeannette Wöllenstein:
Jeannette is a Franco-German legal advisor specialized in comparative law. She has worked for the Costa Rican Embassy in Paris and volunteered for UNICEF, La Croix Rouge Genevoise and a Children's Home in Ecuador. Passionate about adoption and child protection, she joined the ISS Team in July last year and is actively participating in the organisation of the conference since beginning of 2015.

Vito Bumbaca:
Vito is an Italian legal advisor regulatory affairs specialized in the field of International and European Law in Switzerland, Geneva. After his experience, among others, at the European Union in the field of legal and social security, where he worked on several transnational projects dealing with child protection measures undertaken under the EU regulatory framework, he joined the ISS Team in March 2015 and is actively participating in the organisation of the conference.

The General Secretariat of the International Social Service resorted to different partnerships in order to achieve an optimal organization of this Conference.
Concerning the elaboration of the conference agenda, we were able to count on the technical support of a steering committee, composed of:

  • the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • the Central Authorities of Australia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Malta
  • the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the following sponsors for their generous financial support:

  • the Swiss Federal Department of Justice in its function as designated Central Authority;
  • the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva;
  • la Ville de Genève;
  • le Canton de Genève;
  • la Fondation Meyrinoise du Casino;
  • la Fondation Albatros;
  • Webster University;
  • Addict Lab;
  • and other private donors.

Should you be interested in contributing to this important international event, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are actively looking for additional support.

Regarding questions, please contact:

Jeannette Wöllenstein: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. / Vito Bumbaca: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.

Family Mediation Workshop

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ISS organised a meeting where mediators and professionals active in cross-border family conflicts will gather from across regions to exchange ideas, expertise, multi-cultural perspectives, experiences, lessons learned in issues of training, deontology and general practice. The hope was to create an environment of engagement and collaboration towards achieving an international charter reflecting shared understandings in this specialised mediation practice area. For ISS, this work is the initial step towards the creation, on the long-term, of a global network of professional mediators specialised in cross-border conflicts.

Find here the programme.

The goals of the Meeting is the joint elaboration of a Charter for international family mediation processes resulting from discussions on key principles and promising practices which could be adopted as common references. A reflexion on the competences and qualifications required for international mediators will also be conducted in order to initiate work towards the creation of a global network of professional mediators specialised in cross-border conflicts.

Recommendations to States

Summary of discussions on Training, Competence and Qualification for mediators

Draft Charter (1st proposal)

Here you can download the following documents:

Description of the project:

1. Projects outline ISS projects in the field of International Family Mediation

2. Methodology

3. Survey n°1

4. Summary of Enquiry 1

5. Preparatory Work for the Geneva Meeting

 

Documents of reference:

ISS Guide to International Family Mediation: click here

Available also in French, Russian, Italian, Spanish, German, Bulgarian and soon in Portuguese.

Speakers:

Dawn OSBORNE-ADAMS : Keynote address on professional competence and qualifications

Mohamed M. KESHAVJEE : Keynote address on key principles and promising practices for international family mediation processes

Cilgia Caratsch   : Coordinator Mediation Unit - ISS

Lorène Métral     : Assistant Coordinator Mediation Unit - ISS

Indumati Sen      : Collaborator on Process Planning and Design

Jan van Mol        : Organisation of participatory workshops

Cilgia Caratsch
Coordinator Mediation Unit
International Social Service (ISS)
Quai du Seujet 32
CH - 1201 Geneva – Switzerland

Tel.: + 41 22 906 77 00
Fax: + 41 22 906 77 01
E-mail: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.
Website: www.iss-ssi.org

Conference Pictures

You can now find all conference pictures on https://internationalsocialservice.wordpress.com/

 

 

Cross Border Child Protection - Conférence Internationale



poster4 HCCHlong

International Conference

icon legal blue DEF

Given the increasing migration flows around the world, the promotion and effective implementation of international instruments such as the Hague Conventions remain essential to provide the best support to families and children.

The Hague Convention of 1996 on parental responsibility matters and child protection measures (the 'HC-1996') covers a wide range of issues related to the cross-border protection of children and concerns particularly children at heart of international family conflicts, who have been subject of international abduction or cross-border placement, refugee children and unaccompanied minors and others. The 'HC-1996' contains many aspects that are intended to enable a global protection of children:

  • The best interest of the child as a founding principle;
  • Its cooperation mechanism between administrative and judicial authorities of different countries to avoid conflicts between legal systems;
  • Its universal vocation whilst recognizing the diversity of legal systems and institutions worldwide;
  • Its explicit mention of the use of mediation as a means of solving international family conflicts.

However, in practice, the application of the 'HC-1996' is limited due to its ratification by only 41 countries and to the lack of cooperation among authorities of different countries and within the same country. Furthermore, there seems to be a need for ongoing training for professionals. Unfortunately, the current situation results often in decisions made to the detriment of the child.

Therefore, the General Secretariat of the International Social Service, with more than 90 years of expertise in the treatment of transnational child protection and family conflict cases throughout its network, decided to organize an international conference in order to promote the strengthening and effective implementation of the 'HC-1996' by reuniting all concerned actors (from government, the legal sector, academia and social practice) and facilitating dialogue and exchange on the socio-legal dimensions of child-protection between them.

The Conference will focus on the analysis of the 'HC-1996' practical operation through specific themes, including its synergies and complementarities to other legal instruments, such as the Brussels II A Regulation and the Hague Convention of 1980, as well as through showcasing international social work within the 'HC-1996' cooperation mechanism.

Also part of discussions will be the recourse to international family mediation, reason for which the General Secretariat decided to hold, in parallel, an international workshop, reuniting experts from across the world, with the purpose to draft a Charter on International Family Mediation Processes, which will represent a major step towards strengthening and standardising mediation practice in transnational family contexts.

International child protection is an interdisciplinary field and hosting the two events in one place at the same time will evidently create a multidisciplinary platform that will generate common opportunities of work during the plenary sessions and well as a cross-sectorial analysis of some issues.

You will find here the agenda of the Conference.

The socio-legal framework of the 1996 Convention

The role of the 1996 Convention in international custody, access and relocation cases

International child abduction – ensuring the safe return of the child

Promoting the 1996 Convention in non-Contracting States – current state of play and new horizons

The relevance of the 1996 Convention in Islamic legal systems

Round table: Ensuring the harmonious development of the child worldwide – Example: best interests of the child and the right to be heard

International co-operation between authorities including Central Authorities, local authorities, Consulates and Embassies

International co-operation among judges – the value of judges networks and direct judicial communication

The socio-legal dimension of international child protection – an ISS perspective (panel discussion)
Moderator: Mr S. Yau, CEO, ISS Hong Kong

The protection of particularly vulnerable children including refugee children, unaccompanied minors, victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse

Complementarities and synergies between the 1996 Convention and the Brussels IIa Regulation – in the light of practical experiences

Cross-border placement of children in practice

Building the bridge between "habitual residence" and "substantial connection"

The Way Forward
Promotion, development and monitoring of the 1996 Convention: Ideas and vision

The role of mediation in solving international custody, access and relocation cases under the 1996 Convention

Mediation in international child abduction cases: ways to reach an amicable solution within a strict timeframe

You will find here the Conclusions and Recommendations of the Conference in English, French and Spanish.

You can also see the Recommendations to States of the International Family Mediation Workshop.

  • To ISS Publications Shop.
  • Professor G.P. Romano : Conflicts between parents and between legal orders in respect of parental responsibility in English and French.
  • The European Group for Private International Law - Declaration on the Legal Status of Applicants for International Protection from Third Countries to the European Union in English and French.
  • "Santiago Meeting" - Latin American Meeting on the International Protection of Children and the Recovery of Maintenance Abroad.

Hervé Boéchat:
Hervé is a Swiss lawyer with more than a decade of experience in the field of child protection. After several missions for the ICRC and working for the Swiss Federal Department of Justice, he joined the ISS Team in 2005 and assumed the functions of Under Secretary General and Director of the International Reference Centre of the rights of the children deprived of their family.

Jeannette Wöllenstein:
Jeannette is a Franco-German legal advisor specialized in comparative law. She has worked for the Costa Rican Embassy in Paris and volunteered for UNICEF, La Croix Rouge Genevoise and a Children's Home in Ecuador. Passionate about adoption and child protection, she joined the ISS Team in July last year and is actively participating in the organisation of the conference since beginning of 2015.

Vito Bumbaca:
Vito is an Italian legal advisor regulatory affairs specialized in the field of International and European Law in Switzerland, Geneva. After his experience, among others, at the European Union in the field of legal and social security, where he worked on several transnational projects dealing with child protection measures undertaken under the EU regulatory framework, he joined the ISS Team in March 2015 and is actively participating in the organisation of the conference.

Nathalie Khavessian:
Armenian-Lebanese of origin and Swiss citizen, Nathalie has an extensive experience in Project Management in the Private sector. She has worked for 14 years in a Pharmaceutical Company.
Passionate about humanitarian causes, she was elected Ambassador for Care Nepal within her company, after which she decided to take a turn and get closer to the public sector. Having a Hotel Management and International Relations background, she joined the ISS Team in June this year and is actively participating in the organization of the conference.

The General Secretariat of the International Social Service resorted to different partnerships in order to achieve an optimal organization of this Conference.
Concerning the elaboration of the conference agenda, we were able to count on the technical support of a steering committee, composed of:

  • the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • the Central Authorities of Australia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Malta
  • the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the following sponsors for their generous financial support:

  • the Swiss Federal Department of Justice in its function as designated Central Authority;
  • the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva;
  • la Ville de Genève;
  • le Canton de Genève
  • la Fondation Meyrinoise du Casino;
  • la Fondation Albatros;
  • Webster University;
  • Addict Lab;
  • and other private donors.

Should you be interested in contributing to this important international event, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are actively looking for additional support. 

Regarding questions, please contact:

Jeannette Wöllenstein: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. / Vito Bumbaca: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.

Médiation Familiale Internationale

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Le SSI a organisé une rencontre rassemblant des médiateurs et autres professionnels spécialisés dans les situations familiales transnationales pour échanger leurs idées, expertises, déontologies et pratiques. L’idée était de créer un environnement propice à l’engagement et à la collaboration pour établir une charte internationale reflétant une compréhension partagée des pratiques de la médiation familiale internationale. Ce projet représente pour le SSI la première étape de la création sur le long terme d’un réseau global de médiateurs professionnels spécialisés dans les conflits transfrontières.

Trouvez ici le programme.

L’objectif de la Réunion est l’élaboration d’une Charte relative aux processus de médiation familiale internationale. Cette Charte découlera de réflexions sur des séries de principes clés et de pratiques prometteuses qui pourraient être adoptées comme des références communes de la médiation familiale internationale. Une discussion sur les compétences et qualifications requises pour les médiateurs internationaux a été conduite, afin d’initier des réflexions sur la création d’un réseau mondial et centralisé de médiateurs spécialisés en conflits familiaux transfrontières.

Recommandations aux Etats

Synthèse des discussions sur la Formation, Compétence et Qualification des médiateurs

Charte relative aux Processus de médiation familiale internationale (1ière ébauche)

 

Vous pouvez télécharger les documents suivants :

Description du projet :

  1. Description des projets du SSI/ Médiation familiale internationale
  2. Méthodologie
  3. Enquête N°1
  4. Synthèse de l’enquête n°1
  5. Travaux préparatoires pour la Réunion de Genève

Documents de référence :

Guide du SSI pour la Médiation Familiale Internationale : cliquez ici

Existe aussi en anglais, russe, italien, espagnol, allemand, bulgare et bientôt en portugais.

Cilgia Caratsch : Coordinatrice de l’unité Médiation – SSI

Lorène Métral   : Assistante de la Coordinatrice de l’unité Médiation – SSI

Indumati Sen   : Collaboratrice à la conception et planification

Jan van Mol : Mise en place du processus participatif

Cilgia Caratsch
Coordinatrice Unité Médiation
Service Social International (SSI)
Quai du Seujet 32
CH - 1201 Genève – Suisse

Tel.: + 41 22 906 77 00
Fax: + 41 22 906 77 01
E-mail: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.
Website: www.iss-ssi.org

Photos Conférence

Les photos de la conférence sont à voir sur ce lien: https://internationalsocialservice.wordpress.com/

Centre National pour la Médiation et la Résolution des Conflits - Lire les témoignages

"Cross border family disputes are nowadays mostly law driven.
The party-parents apply to attorneys for advice and they lead them to require jurisdiction which is in favour of each of them. Consequently, the party-parents find themselves in an international battlefield over the children.

The handbook introduce, in a most clear and professional manner, to party-parents and family advisors, a different option to resolve their international family dispute through mediation. The reliable comprehensive guidebook, published by the expertise of the ISS, approves them that this option can serve the best interests of the children and also a trustworthy possibility for themselves"

Dr. P. Segal

Islam, Sharia and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mechanisms for legal Redress in the Muslim Community - Lire les témoignages

"This manual, written in simple language with input from some of the world's leading practitioners in the field, is very necessary today in explaining the values of family mediation to peoples of all cultures, traditions and backgrounds.

Often, when disputes arise, people get locked into adversarial positions where the primary issues get obfuscated.

The manual is aimed at socialising people throughout the world to the value of collaboration in developing conflict resolution arrangements among themselves and indeed finding solutions that are durable.

In today's resource- limited world with competing demands, such an approach is the only sensible way forward if we want to develop a functional and healthy civil society.

I fully endorse this endeavour".

Dr. M. M. Keshavjee

COVID-19

Face à la situation inédite dans laquelle le COVID-19 a plongé la quasi-totalité des pays, le SSI a décidé de consacrer une section de son site aux ressources développées par le SSI et les autres organisations internationales, ainsi que divers gouvernements, dans ce contexte d'urgence. Cette section vise à soutenir les professionnels concernés par la protection des enfants et des familles au plan national et international et à les outiller grâce au partage des nombreux outils et dispositifs disponibles.

Ressources développées par le SSI et d'autres organisations internationales :

 

Conférence de La Haye de droit international privé - Lire les témoignages

"The Hague Conference on Private International Law has a long history of working in the field of cross-border mediation in international child disputes.

The involvement in this area reflects the increasing importance of mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods to bring about agreed solutions in international family law cases and most of the modern Hague Family Conventions explicitly encourage mediation and similar processes for finding appropriate solutions to cross-border family disputes.

The Hague Conference has been co-operating with ISS for many years on various matters related to the protection of children and strongly supports ISS in its goal to promote the use of mediation in international family disputes.

We are delighted to be a partner of ISS in this project which complements the efforts of the Hague Conference in this field in a unique way: the project targets international families which are often not aware that mediation may help them to find a solution to their conflict either aside from or instead of legal proceedings.

It thus responds to an urgent need to disseminate information on this conflict resolution mechanism world wide."

Dr. C. Bernasconi

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