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Intersection of Child Abduction Process and Refugee Claim

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has released its decision in A.M.R.I. v. K.E.R. (available here).  The decision deals with the intersection of the law relating to children who advance a refugee claim and the law on returning abducted children under the Hague Convention.

A girl of 12 had travelled from Mexico, where she lived with her mother (who had custody), to Ontario to visit her father (who had access rights).  There she disclosed that she had been abused by her mother.  She made a refugee application and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada found her to be a refugee as a result of the abuse.  After she had lived in Ontario for about 18 months, the mother applied under the Hague Convention for her return to Mexico.  The Superior Court of Justice ordered that she be returned, and she was – in quite a remarkable way which violated her right to dignity and respect (para. 7).  On appeal, the Court of Appeal reversed that decision.  It set aside the order of return and ordered a new hearing on the Hague Convention application.