Seminar on “The Role of the Hague Child Protection Conventions in the Practical Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child”

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Hague Conference on Private International Law based in the Netherlands will host a seminar from 23 -25 February 2010 (Tuesday-Friday), to discuss ways to strengthen cross-border co-operation for the protection of children at risk and better regulate inter-country adoption. The meeting will focus on the problems resulting from cross-border movements of unaccompanied minors, refugee and displaced children, as well as international abductions and trafficking in children.

Accordingly, the objective of the seminar will be on how the Hague Children’s Conventions may be of help in protecting children in cross-border contexts, and how they may be implemented in a way which respects local conditions and cultures, taking into account issues of capacity and especially the problem of access to legal services and procedures. The seminar will focus on the themes of Inter-country Adoption, International Child Abduction, Child Trafficking, Unaccompanied Minors, Refugee and Displaced Children and Cross-Border Child Support, with the aim of establishing inter-governmental, judicial and social sector networks and a permanent framework for inter-state cooperation, in order to enhance cross-border protection of children and the implementation of protection principles by States. 

The seminar with support from UNICEF, will involve high officials from 15 member states- which are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the African Union Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

Delegates will explore how these international conventions can translate into a practical inter-state framework to protect children. So far only South Africa, Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, and Madagascar have ratified the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption, and many countries do not have adequate cross border legislation in place.

A South African delegation will be led by Ambassador Nene.

Media Programme

Members of the Media are invited as follows:

Date: Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Venue: Roode Vallei Country Lodge, Zeekoegat, Kameeldrift East

Time: 09:30

Members of the media are advised to arrive at 09:00

For further information please contact Mr Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag x152

22 February 2010


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