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Investigation: Whose Best Interest? The Consequences of The International Law on Parental Child Abduction

Whose Best Interest? The Consequences of The International Law on Parental Child Abduction

Two Foreign Mothers Fighting for Their Sons to Come Back To Them.


The Oslo Desk is a journalism house that investigates barriers internationals are faced with in Norway. Support our work on www.ko-fi.com/theoslodesk.

Interviews took place between January and September 2019. Official documents from both Linh and Kim were received by The Oslo Desk to verify their stories.


The International Law on Parental Child Abduction

In 2019, the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Foreign Affairs have registered 86 children abducted to and from Norway but only 58 cases were opened.

When a child is abducted, the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Foreign Affairs has a duty to immediately return a child who was wrongfully removed by one of the parents from her/his habitual residence under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction.

The term ‘habitual residence’ is not defined in the Hague Convention but remains pivotal in international parental child abduction court cases which determine if a child is indeed abducted from his or her place of residence.

The conclusive factors to decide a child’s habitual residence are decided in court. This usually includes the degree of integration, connection, and stability, which is independent of the time the child has stayed in the country.

Read the stories of Linh and Kim in Part One and Two of this Investigation Series on Women in Migration, and then Part Three where The Oslo Desk interviewed two Non-Profit organisations for their insight and advice on handling family crisis, such as pre-emigration agreement.

Part One – Linh and Her Story
Part Two – Kim and Her Story
Part Three – family crisis insights and advice from NGOs

Illustration Photo: Closeup of motherhood figure By Sarita Rungsakorn / RawPixel.
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Ka Man Mak
Ka Man Mak

Ka Man is an investigative journalist, documentary photographer, and social entrepreneur, as well as the founder of The Oslo Desk. She is a British-born Hong Konger residing in Oslo, Norway. She holds a Master in Environmental Geoscience and have taken numerous diplomas including child psychology, and a course in big data analytics at OsloMet. Made numerous publications in newsletters, magazines and Norwegian newspapers. Interested in edtech, constructive journalism, women in migration, Cantonese language, alternatives to capitalism and asylum policy.