Saturday, February 27, 2010

African Countries Urged to Adopt Hague Convention

At an up-coming meeting with high officials from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia,and Zimbabwe, these governments will consider adopting various Hague conventions concerning children, including the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption:

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

“When it comes to the cross-frontier protection of children, States cannot go it alone,” explains Professor William Duncan, Deputy Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. “Close co-operation between child protection bodies and between judges in different countries is essential, and the Hague Children’s Conventions make this possible. It is very appropriate that this meeting is taking place on the eve of the Football World Cup, a time at which, with large cross-border movements of people, the risk of child trafficking grows.”

On the subject of intercountry adoption, Professor Duncan explained “the importance for African countries to be prepared to deal with the pressures to release more children for adoption abroad. Sometimes intercountry adoption may offer the only chance for a particular child to enjoy the warmth of family life. But often there are solutions through family support or alternative care in accordance with African
traditions within the child’s home country. It is also essential for countries to co-operate in combating the abuses, including profiteering, which sometimes arise in intercountry adoption.”
I wish Ethiopia was on the list of attendees, but I'm heartened to see other countries that are starting to create international adoption programs, like the Congo.

1 comment:

Von said...

Horrifying that this didn't happen years ago but then children and their rights are always bottom of the pile.