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Sunday, November 29, 2015
Saskatchewan Justice

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is the main international treaty that can help parents whose children have been abducted to another country. The Hague Convention applies between over 50 countries.

The Hague Convention is incorporated into the law of Saskatchewan as The International Child Abduction Act, 1996. The objectives are to ensure the prompt return of a child taken contrary to custody rights, and to help ensure access rights are respected.

The Hague Convention applies to children habitually resident in a contracting country prior to the breach of custody or access rights. It ceases to apply when the child reaches age 16. While the Hague Convention attempts to ensure orders are respected, in exceptional cases the courts may not order the return of a child if it can be shown the parent seeking the child's return has consented to the removal or if the child is at risk of physical or psychological harm if returned.

Canadian cases involving signatory countries to the Hague Convention are managed through special offices in each of the provincial and territorial Justice departments. These offices are called central authorities.

In Saskatchewan the Central Authority is:

Betty Ann Pottruff, Q.C.
Director, Policy Planning and Evaluation
The Ministry of Justice and Attorney General
310-1874 Scarth Street
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 4B3
Phone: (306) 787-3481
Fax: (306) 787-9008

Action can be taken by the Central Authority to:

  • discover the whereabouts of a child;
  • secure the return of a child to the custodial parent; or
  • secure effective exercise of the rights of access.

The Central Authority may also be able to offer some assistance in returning abducted children in cases that involve countries that are not signatories to the Hague Convention. If it is necessary to determine the whereabouts of a person, the Central Authority can demand information or addresses from any person or public body in Saskatchewan.

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