The International Child Abduction Database

International parental child abduction is a global problem affecting several thousand children each year. The primary international instrument, intended to protect children from the harmful effects of their wrongful removal or retention across frontiers, is The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

In 1999, to promote mutual understanding, consistent interpretation and thereby the effective operation of the 1980 Convention, the Permanent Bureau of The Hague Conference on Private International Law established The International Child Abduction Database (INCADAT). The database discloses leading decisions concerning the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention, as well as other decisions relevant to international child abduction.

INCADAT comprises searchable summaries of decisions, links to the full texts of judgments and compendia of legal analysis in English, French and Spanish. Continually updated, INCADAT is used by judges, Central Authorities, legal practitioners, researchers and others interested in this rapidly developing branch of law.

The current platform of INCADAT is about ten years old and needs to be revised. HCCH has found Thirdwave for the phased development of a new platform that meets the current needs and requirements for both website visitors and the internal employees who manage the INCADAT database.

The following project goals have been defined for the revision of the INCADAT website, the underlying database, and its (editorial) management platform:

  • migrate the current platform to a robust and consistent system that provides sufficient flexibility to support desired updates of the INCADAT website in the coming years;
  • create a modern and optimized look and feel for the INCADAT website, with improved usability and support for mobile devices (smartphone and tablet);
  • enhance the search capabilities of the INCADAT website, making it easier for users to find relevant case law and related background information;
  • improve the editorial workflow, making it easier and more intuitive for HCCH-employees to manage the INCADAT database, thereby saving time when updating the database contents;
  • improve the quality of the INCADAT database by integrating business rules into the editorial workflow to safeguard information integrity;
  • provide the INCADAT project team with substantive management information by adding a feature with which website users can provide feedback to the INCADAT project team.
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