Changing Women's Rights | Getting Consent when Travelling with Children

‘Well-behaved women rarely make history’

Eleanor Roosevelt

Sometimes, its time to stand up and say it’s not ok. In January 2019, I was traveling to the UK from France to go and see my family. I had my daughter, only 7 months old at the time, her passport, my passport, and her birth certificate to prove I am her mum. I was told because I didn’t have the same surname as my daughter, I needed the father’s approval. I felt so wronged by this, as he could travel with her but I couldn’t because of a name? I posted on Facebook about this and so many people reached out to me who were stranded or otherwise because of this rule.

This led me to do some digging and go further into what was really going on here. These rules are there to prevent child abduction. But still, I am a parent and I had the birth certificate so this didn’t make sense to me. It turns out that some parents “abduct” their child from the other parent and go to another country. Which must be so awful the for the parent left behind so there’s a rule called The Hague Convention which tries to prevent this. Basically, if one parent takes their child out of the country without the other parent’s permission then that parent left behind can apply through the Hague Convention to get that child returned back to their original country. So far, so good right?

Yes, except in some cases… actually quite a lot of cases, the mum has tried to leave the country because she was being abused by the father and wanted to get back to safety, her family and her home country. The Hague Convention does not see this as a plausible defense and so the mum will be forced to return to the other country with her child. There she will be under court surveillance and promised that she will get protective support.

However this protective support is not like the UK, so often the women goes back under the abusers’ control, much to the demise of her and her children.

This is not okay. We are in modern society and The Hague Convention must take better care of women that are fleeing from abuse. So I am petitioning the Hague Convention so that they see abuse as a plausible defense to not return to the other country and to be offered a protective package to stay in the country to which she is escaping too.

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE

1. Get updates about the campaign

Click the button below to pop in your email and I will add you to the list when we begin the petition and campaign – please note this will NOT be used for marketing purposes by me or anyone else – it’s purely for this campaign.

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2. Share your story

Do you have an experience that is connected to this? Then please share your story, anonymously or not (you choose) – your name and email will NEVER be made public – this is to ensure legitimacy, or if you prefer then leave a fake name – that way we can all start to have our voices heard and make those in power know that we mean business.

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