The aim of this training is to train experienced family mediators to be able to deal with the complexity of child abduction cases and other associated international family disputes, (in a professional manner). These are legally complicated, emotional cases with an extra challenge when it comes to language and culture. This necessitates specific schooling.
The training delves deeper into the relevant legal questions about parental authority/guardianship, the jurisdiction of the court, the recognition and enforcement of judgements, as well as the enforceability of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in other European countries. In this respect, the following subject matters will be discussed: the Hague Child Abduction Convention 1980, the Hague Child Protection Convention 1996, the European Regulation Brussels II-bis (including the revised version) and the position of mediation in Europe. Obviously, attention will also be devoted to the drafting of a mediation agreement and the MOU, with particular attention being paid to the mirror order.
The structure of the mediation is rather significant, in particular for children. Long, almost bureaucratic procedures can take a toll on families as this hinders them from concentrating on the future (which is important). This especially holds true for children. Therefore, we spend adequate time on how to structure the mediation. Why should co-mediation be implemented? How do we organize a co-mediation session and what are the differences with other forms of mediation? These questions, along with other topics on the different phases families go through during mediation, and useful instruments to incorporate during mediation, will be covered.
Another important aspect in cross-border mediation are the cultural differences. The course makes participants aware of the most prominent cultural differences between countries and how to keep this in mind when mediating with families living in different countries. Important obstacles such as: language barriers, families not being in the same country during the mediation and mediation via a video-link (especially relevant in this period of time) will be addressed.
We strongly believe in a good network with other players in the field in order to ensure we can provide the best possible solution to the conflict. In this way, part of the solution can comprise of repairing trust between the parents, which can, for example, be supported by the child protection services. During the training, we will allow the participants to witness how the co-operation with third parties can be shaped in practice.
In this training, we will pay particular attention to the impact of international child abduction on the child. What effect does abduction have on a child? What does this mean for the parents? We assess the role of the mediator in this part of the process which is often overlooked. We will also talk about the possibilities of having the children present during the mediation and discuss the benefits and negatives of involving children in the mediation so that participants will be able to kindle to the specific needs of the family during mediation.
During the training we strive to obtain a balance between the exchange of knowledge from our experts to the participants and the development of skills. The training should not be a 7-day lecture where partakers are only listening. We actively involve the members of the training by doing role-playing and drafting exercises. This way you can instantly put the knowledge that you learned into practice.
Experts in the field (e.g., mediators, lawyers, judges, Central authority etc.) will teach the course. The experts all have the practical expertise to share valuable knowledge and provide insightful tips from real-world cases. Thus, the training features several practical examples that the trainers discuss in detail with the participants.
Additionally, as a result of the design of the program, intercultural differences will be more than a standard pen-paper exercise.