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  3. 10. General
  4. 10.22 International child protection matters and the Hague Child Abduction Convention
  5. Key steps
  6. 1. Manage international child protection matters

1. Manage international child protection matters

The department continues to experience an increasing number of child protection matters which involve the need to liaise with overseas authorities and related agencies such as Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Queensland's responsibilities under the Hague Convention on the Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in respect of parental responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (also known as the Hague Child Protection Convention) are largely encapsulated in the Queensland Child Protection (International Measures) Act 2003.

The responsibility for administering the Child Protection Convention in Queensland lies with the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women. Court Services is responsible for the coordination of duties on behalf of the Director-General as the State Central Authority, and for the management of international child protection matters.

Not all countries are signatories to this convention, however, the principles of the Child Protection Convention are considered desirable in how the department approaches all child protection matters where there is an international component.

Court Services must be contacted as soon as it becomes apparent that a case may require enquiries with other services due to some international aspect of the case. Types of referrals include:

  • liaising with Immigration to clarify the visa or residency status of a child
  • applying for a child’s visa, including a Vulnerable Child Visa
  • locating a family member overseas
  • assessing a family member overseas (Note: obtaining child protection checks from overseas are managed through Data Management Services)
  • making a child protection notification to an overseas welfare authority
  • requesting case work from an overseas welfare authority
  • referring a matter in accordance with the Hague Child Protection Convention to an overseas convention country.

Court Services is also responsible for forwarding similar referrals from overseas welfare authorities to the relevant CSSC and will assist and support the CSSC in responding appropriately. Where such referral is made under the Hague Child Protection Convention, Court Services will assist the CSSC to manage the matter accordingly under the Child Protection (International Measures) Act 2003.

Note: These procedures exclude requests to or from New Zealand. For information on responding to requests from, or generating requests to, New Zealand, refer to Chapter 10.18 Interstate and New Zealand matters.