Ordinance a welcome addition

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 April, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 April, 1998, 12:00am

Anyone has to feel great sympathy for children and parents, involved in a dispute over custody (South China Morning Post, April 18).

It is obviously best that all can agree on the arrangements for the children. However too often litigation may exacerbate a highly emotionally charged situation. The Child Abduction and Custody Ordinance is a welcome addition to legislative protection for children, and hopefully should act as a deterrent to the abduction by a parent of a child from the jurisdiction in which the custody of the child is lawful or has been determined.

However the human emotions involved need to be recognised, and adequate arrangement made for social and psychological assessment as necessary so that decisions may be made for protection, and the return of the child to the original jurisdiction in accordance with the law and with understanding of the potential reactions to the decision of those most intimately involved. Counselling and mediation must be an essential part of the process.

THOMAS J. MULVEY Director Hong Kong Family Welfare Society