United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 19, 2024

§ 9113.
Bilateral procedures, including memoranda of understanding
(a)
Development
(1)
In general

Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2014, the Secretary of State shall initiate a process to develop and enter into appropriate bilateral procedures, including memoranda of understanding, as appropriate, with non-Convention countries that are unlikely to become Convention countries in the foreseeable future, or with Convention countries that have unresolved abduction cases that occurred before the Hague Abduction Convention entered into force with respect to the United States or that country.

(2)
Prioritization

In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary of State shall give priority to countries with significant abduction cases and related issues.

(b)
Elements
The bilateral procedures described in subsection (a) should include provisions relating to—
(1)
the identification of—
(A)
the Central Authority;
(B)
the judicial or administrative authority that will promptly adjudicate abduction and access cases;
(C)
the law enforcement agencies; and
(D)
the implementation of procedures to ensure the immediate enforcement of an order issued by the authority identified pursuant to subparagraph (B) to return an abducted child to a left-behind parent, including by—
(i)
conducting an investigation to ascertain the location of the abducted child;
(ii)
providing protection to the abducted child after such child is located; and
(iii)
retrieving the abducted child and making the appropriate arrangements for such child to be returned to the child’s country of habitual residence;
(2)
the implementation of a protocol to effectuate the return of an abducted child identified in an abduction case not later than 6 weeks after the application with respect to the abduction case has been submitted to the judicial or administrative authority, as applicable, of the country in which the abducted child is located;
(3)
the implementation of a protocol for the establishment and protection of the rights of interim contact during pendency of abduction cases; and
(4)
the implementation of a protocol to establish periodic visits between a United States embassy or consular official and an abducted child, in order to allow the official to ascertain the child’s location and welfare.
(Pub. L. 113–150, title I, § 103, Aug. 8, 2014, 128 Stat. 1815.)
cite as: 22 USC 9113