International Abduction – Portuguese Statistical Data

by | Mar 16, 2023

International Abduction – Portuguese Statistical Data

The Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980 Hague Convention), ratified by Portugal on September 12, 1990, states, in its article 6, that each Contracting State shall designate a Central Authority responsible for carrying out the obligations imposed by the Convention.

In Portugal, the Central Authority is the “Direção-Geral de Reinserção e Serviços Prisionais”, also known as DGRSP. In this context, the Legal and Litigation Office (GJC), as the organizational unit responsible for providing technical and legal support to the bodies and services of the DGRSP, represents the Portuguese Central Authority in matters regarding parental abduction and the promotion and protection of children.

Unfortunately, we don’t have reliable data on Portuguese court decisions in cases of international child abduction, but merely some data released by the Portuguese Central Authority. And, in fact, proceedings may be brought directly before Portuguese courts, without going first through the central authority, as provided by article 18 of the 1980 Hague Convention and, in complement, articles 22 and 24 of Council Regulation (EU) 2019/1111, of 25th of June 2019. The latter is applicable to lawsuits filed as of August 1, 2022, with the previous Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 continuing to apply to decisions rendered in lawsuits filed before that date.

In 2020, 31 requests for return of the child to Portugal were initiated before the Portuguese Central Authority: 6 by Brazil, 6 by France, 5 by the United Kingdom, 3 by Spain, 2 by Russia and Poland and 1 by Switzerland, Romania, Morocco, Northern Ireland, Estonia, Australia and Germany.

In the same year, 41 requests for return to other countries were made to the Portuguese Central Authority: 9 to the United Kingdom, 7 to France, 6 to Brazil, 4 to Germany, 3 to Switzerland, and 1 to Sweden, Norway, Luxemburg, Italy, Iceland, Jersey, the Netherlands, the United States, Spain, Slovenia, Canada, and Belgium.

In 2021, 40 requests for the return of the child to Portugal were filed with the Portuguese Central Authority: 8 from the United Kingdom, 6 from France, 5 from Brazil, 4 from Luxemburg, 2 from the United States, Colombia, Switzerland, Belgium and Poland, and 1 from Norway, Ukraine, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece and Malta.

Also in 2021, 35 requests for return to other countries were made before the Portuguese Central Authority: 7 for Brazil, 6 for the United Kingdom and France, 3 for Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, and 1 for Spain, the United States, Ireland, Luxembourg, Moldova, Poland and Russia.

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