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S. Korea joins international treaty against parental child abductions
SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has signed an international treaty that requires a country to expeditiously return a child abducted by a parent to the child's country of habitual residence, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

   The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, or Hague Abduction Convention, will come into force in South Korea on March 1, next year, ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young said.

   The treaty, which took effect in 1983 with 88 member countries, is primarily aimed at providing an expeditious method to return abducted children to their country of habitual residence.

   Cho said South Korea's accession to the Hague Abduction Convention "will lay a groundwork for us to swiftly cope with parental child abductions."

   "In particular, it is expected to help resolve human rights issues with regard to children in multi-cultural families," Cho said, citing possible side effects from a growing number of international marriages in South Korea.

   kdh@yna.co.kr
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