To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Government are taking to ensure that the 1996 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children is ratified by all EU member states before 5 June 2010 in accordance with Council Decision 2008/431/EC of 5 June 2008; and if he will make a statement.
Eight EU member states are already Contracting States to the Convention. Council Decision 2008/431/EC authorised the UK and other remaining EU member states to ratify or accede to the convention, and requires the simultaneous deposit of their instruments of ratification or accession, if possible before
In November 2009 the UK expected to conclude its legislative process by June 2010. Under the convention this would have enabled implementation three months later, on
However, it will not now be possible for the UK to complete its implementing legislation as intended in June 2010. The intention now is to have all necessary legislation in place to enable the UK to ratify by
The UK remains firmly committed to ratification and implementation of this important convention and is working to achieve this.