Researchers: Nichole Chambers, Charles Young
Organisation: Child Protection and Family Services Agency
Presentation Title: “Flight or Fight: The Hague Convention Considerations”
Research Focus: The fundamental principles of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction and how these principles affect the Court’s decision whether to return the subject child (or children) of a hearing relating to international child abduction.
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a multilateral treaty, which seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of wrongful removal and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return. Jamaica signed to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction in 2017 and subsequently ratified the Convention through The Children (Guardianship and Custody) (Amendment) Act which came into effect on the 8th of February 2017.
This is important because the increase in globalisation, the constant changes in migration patterns, and the search for better opportunities are among some of the reasons that have steadily contributed to an increase in the number of cross-national parenting relationships involving Jamaican parents. Furthermore, akin to any other relationship, cross-national parenting relationships often have breakdowns. This paper therefore seeks to explore the connection among failed cross-national parenting, international comity, and Jamaican legislation, in preventing international child abduction.
Rather than placing an emphasis on how the bodies of law should be interpreted, this paper will focus on the practical considerations when making an application, throughout trial, and when advising clients. By visiting previous local decisions relating to the subject and elucidating the various roles of the Jamaica Central Authority, which are supported by statute, we hope to highlight the imperative of time and the impact of the actions of all parties involved on the outcome of trial.
Ultimately this paper aims to contribute to the understanding of the novel and rapidly expanding area of international child abduction within the context of Jamaica.
Ms Nichole Chambers is a child rights specialist and is currently employed as a Legal Officer with the Child Protection & Family Services Agency (CPFSA), formerly Child Development Agency Her mandate is to represent children who are wards of the state who have been charged with a criminal offence.
She is instrumental in Jamaica becoming signatory to the Convention on International Child Abduction and was the attorney in the first Child Abduction case presented on behalf of the Jamaican government through the Jamaica Central Authority that is vested in the CPFSA
She has currently drafted the Policies and Cabinet Submissions and is instrumental in the revised version of the Child Care Protection Act, Legal Guardianship & Custody Act, Section 24 of the CCPA, Adoption Act and various other pieces of legislations that impacts on children through the parent ministry, Ministry of Education & Youth.
Nichole is very passionate about her work and has an open door policy in sharing her knowledge and assisting others. Her key mantra is from actor, Michael J. Fox is:-
“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.”