Today marks one year since the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction came into force in Japan. British Embassy Tokyo and Consulate-General Osaka continue to work with local experts and the Japanese authorities to support its implementation.
As part of this work, British Embassy Tokyo hosted 3 days of mediation training from 28-30 March, delivered by leading UK charity Reunite International Child Abduction Centre. The training sessions were attended by local practitioners as well as officials from Japan’s Hague Central Authority and provided a forum in which experts were able to share experiences of mediation.
Reunite’s Joanne Orton (Mediator and Advice Line Caseworker) and Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE (Chair of the Board of Trustees) said:
This has been a great opportunity for us to learn from the Japanese experience of Hague child abductions cases from lawyers, mediators, counsellors and the Central Authority for Japan. The insight that we have gained will be invaluable to parents and other stakeholders in the UK. We are excited to be able to share it.
Alison Shalaby, Chief Executive of Reunite, commented:
In cases of international parental child abduction it is so important that parents have an alternative to the court process. Mediation allows parents the opportunity to step outside of the courtroom and focus on the best interests of their children and their family and we are delighted to have this opportunity to share our knowledge and practice with our Japanese colleagues so we can work together to better assist families.
The embassy has produced an information sheet on legal issues relating to parental child abduction in Japan. We urge any parent considering abducting their child to think through the devastating consequences for all involved.