Notes on Guideline 3 – international child abduction

The following information provides guidance on how to interpret and apply Guideline 3 and should be read in conjunction with that guideline in the Handbook. Where there is any inconsistency between the following information and the guidelines, the guidelines will prevail.

Assistance under this guideline is available in limited circumstances where the child:

  • is in Australia, having been wrongfully removed to Australia, or kept in Australia from countries subject to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Convention) or certain bilateral agreements,


  • has been wrongfully remover from Australia and a declaration is sought that the child has been wrongfully removed from Australia to a Convention country, or kept in that country, as proscribed under the Convention.

VLA does not provide legal assistance for overseas legal proceedings for the return to Australia of a child who has been wrongfully removed to another country.

For information relating to the assistance provided by the Australian Central Authority where a child has been removed to a country that is a member of the Convention, and what to do if a child has been removed to a non-Convention country, see the website of the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department.

Other notes in this section