Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (hereinafter - the Convention) is in force in Latvia since 1 February 2002.
The Convention is an international documents that provides for a mechanism for the return of the child to their country of residence, as well as respecting the custody and access rights of the other parent with the aim to protect the child from the harmful effects caused by the unlawful removal or retention. The nationality of the child is not important. The Convention states that the court decision on the return of the child is in no way considered to be a decision determining the custody of the child and/or access rights.
The full text of the Convention in Latvian, Russian, English and German is available here: Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 -
Convention is applicable to the relations between Latvia and the following states
As at 6 June 2014, the Convention is in force between Latvia and the following states - Albania, United States of America, United Kingdom, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Chile, Denmark, Dominica, France, Gabon, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Croatia, Estonia, Italia, Israel, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Cyprus, Columbia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Mexico, Monaco, Republic of Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Salvador, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Spain, Seychelles, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Hungary, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Germany, Venezuela, Sweden.
States that have not joined the Convention
In the event the child has been brought to a state that is not a party to the Convention and there is no bilateral agreement between these states in place, the possibilities depend on the legislation of the relevant state. Individuals can seek help at the competent authorities of the state - Ministry of Justice, embassy, court, bar association or non-governmental organizations.
More detailed information about the Member States of the Convention can be found on the Hague Conference on Private International Law website http://www.hcch.net
Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000
The Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 is in force in all Member States of the European Union and is applicable since 1 March 2005. It is binding to all Member States of the European Union. It supplements the Convention with its individual provisions.
The Regulation is not applicable in legal relation with Denmark.
When a child is unlawfully moved from one EU Member State (hereinafter - the Member State of Origin) to another Member State (hereinafter - the Recipient Member State), after the unlawful removal or retention of the child, the Regulation provides that the jurisdiction in deciding the matter of the custody of the child remains with the Member State of Origin - in cases, where the court of the Recipient Member State decides to return the child to the Member State of Origin or decides not to return the child to the Member State of Origin pursuant to the provisions of Article 13 of the Convention.
When a request on the return of the child to the country of origin is submitted to the court of the Recipient Member State, it shall apply the Convention, as well as the provisions of the Regulation. If the court decides that the child should not be retuned, it shall immediately send the copy of the decision to the competent court of the Member State of Origin, which shall notify the parties. The aforementioned court - at the request of the party - may examine the matter of custody. If, as a result of the custody proceedings, this court makes a decision on the return of the child, it shall be recognized and enforced by the Recipient Member State without delay. No official recognition is required.
Full text of the Regulation in Latvian and English is available here:
Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 -
Guidelines on the application of Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 -