CouncilEurope

Convention on Contact concerning Children

(ETS no. 192)

Open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe, the non-member States which have participated in its elaboration and the European Union, in Strasbourg, on 15 May 2003.

Entry into force: 1 September 2005.

Summary of the treaty

Given the problems inherent in the exercise and protection of children's personal relationships, as well as its possible limitations, the Convention aims to regulate these relations in the light of the best interests of the child.

The aim of the Convention is to improve certain aspects of the right of national and transfrontier contact and, in particular, to specify and reinforce the basic right of children and their parents to maintain contact on a regular basis. This right may be extended, if necessary, to include contact between a child and other persons than his or her parents, in particular when the child has family ties with such a person.

In this respect, the object of the Convention is to determine the general principles to be applied to contact orders, as well as to fix appropriate safeguards and guarantees to ensure the proper exercise of such contact and the immediate return of children at the end of the period of contact. It establishes co-operation between all the bodies and authorities concerned with contact orders and reinforces the implementation of relevant existing international legal instruments in this field.