If your child has been taken or kept in Pakistan without your permission, this guide covers the basics of what has been agreed between the UK and Pakistan. If you need advice, we can help you.
What Does the UK-Pakistan Protocol Involve?
In 2003, Senior Judges from Pakistan and the UK agreed, and then signed, the UK-Pakistan Protocol on Children Matters. This agreement aims to secure the return of an abducted child to the country where they normally live, without regard to nationality, culture, or religion of the parents.
Within this Protocol, the child’s ‘welfare’ is of absolute priority and the courts of the country where the child normally lives are usually in the best position to decide on matters of custody and where a child should live.
In such cases, judges should consider any existing court orders made by the courts in the child’s ‘home’ country. The judge may then order the child to be returned to the country where they normally live.
What to Do if Your Child is Taken to Pakistan
If you have an existing resistance order or prohibited steps order against the person who has taken your child to Pakistan, or your child hasn’t returned from a holiday to Pakistan with them, you might be able to use the Protocol to help return your child to the UK.
Special judges, known as ‘Liaison Judges’, have been appointed in the UK and Pakistan to deal with alleged child abduction between the two countries. They communicate with each other on individual cases to provide each other with information as to the orders in place – if any – in each country. Your UK Liaison Judge will direct attention towards your UK court order, court proceedings in Pakistan, and your request for your child to return back to the UK.
You can contact the Family Division of the Royal Courts of Justice to find out who the Liaison Judges are in that country:
Office of the Head of International Family Justice
Royal Courts of Justice
Lawyer Tel: 0207 957 7906 Fax: 0207 947 6804
Administrator Tel: 0207 947 7225 Fax: 0207947 7875
You can also use the Protocol when seeking permission to take a child temporarily to Pakistan for a holiday.
The Protocol has not been made law in Pakistan so their judges are only able to bear the Protocol in mind, and are not legally bound by its provisions. The protocol has not been made law in the UK either, but the Courts to take note of it.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office can also assist you through the following contact details:
King Charles Street
Tel: 020 7008 1500
We understand the emotional stress and turmoil of your child being taken without your permission, and the need to have your child returned as quickly as possible. To ensure that you have all of the information and guidance you need, our family lawyers can assist. Contact one of our clerks to get in touch.