International Child Abduction and Contact Unit

The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit is the Central Authority in England and Wales for the:

Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Abduction Convention)

Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 (Revised Brussels II)

European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions Concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children (the European Convention)

Within each country, which is a signatory to the Convention and to the Regulation, there is an administrative body known as the Central Authority, which is responsible for administering the operation of the Convention and the Regulation.  In England and Wales the Central Authority is the Lord Chancellor who delegates the duties of the Central Authority to the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit ('the ICACU').  The ICACU is based within the office of the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee.

  • Is your child being kept overseas against your wishes?
  • Are you worried that your child will be taken overseas without your consent?
  • Has your child been taken overseas without your consent?
  • Have you brought your child into the UK from abroad?
  • Are you being denied contact with your child overseas?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, this website contains important information which can help you. The material provided here has been prepared by the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU).

ICACU is the designated Central Authority for England under the Hague Convention of 19 October 1996 on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-Operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (the 1996 Hague Convention). ICACU is responsible for administering the work of the 1996 Hague Convention in England. The Welsh Government is the Central Authority for Wales.

A guide to the operation of the 1996 Hague Convention in England and Wales can be accessed here. Please note that the Guide is aimed at the Judiciary and practitioners.

Official Solicitor and Public Trustee

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