DATE: July 30, 2019
TO: State and Tribal IV-D Directors
SUBJECT: U.S. Objection to Accession of Kazakhstan to Hague Convention
This letter addresses the objection by the United States to the accession of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Hague Child Support Convention.
The Hague Child Support Convention may be ratified, accepted, or approved by any country that was a member of the Hague Conference on Private International Law at the time of its Twenty-First Session and by other countries that participated in that Session.1 As a member of the Hague Conference at the Twenty-First Session, the United States signed the Hague Child Support Convention in 2007 and ratified the Convention in 2016. The treaty has been in force in the United States since January 1, 2017.
The Convention provides that any other country may accede to the Convention. However, according to Article 58(5) of the Convention, an accession will have effect only regarding the relations between that country and other Contracting States (Convention countries) that have not raised an objection to the accession within 12 months of notification of the accession.
One of the major goals of the United States during treaty negotiations was that the Convention would result in more money reaching more families more quickly. Therefore, the United States prioritized provisions dealing with the responsibilities of Central Authorities, administrative cooperation, case handling procedures, accountability, and information about a country’s laws and procedures.
To ensure that a country can implement the Convention, Article 57 addresses requirements that a country must meet before it becomes a party to the Hague Child Support Convention. It requires that a country provide a description of (1) its laws and procedures concerning maintenance obligations; (2) how the country will meet its obligations concerning Central Authority responsibilities; (3) how it will provide effective access to procedures under Article 14 of the Convention; and (4) its enforcement rules and procedures. All Convention countries, including those acceding to the Hague Convention, must provide the information about their laws and procedures, as required by Article 57.
On June 6, 2017, Kazakhstan deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention with the Convention depositary, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Contracting States were informed of the accession on June 12, 2018.
Kazakhstan did not provide any of the information required by Article 57. Therefore, the Embassy of the United States notified the Convention depositary that the United States objected to the accession of Kazakhstan to the Convention.
Because the United States objected to the accession of Kazakhstan, the Hague Child Support Convention does not apply between Kazakhstan and the United States. This objection only applies to the relationship between the United States and Kazakhstan. The Convention has entered into force for Kazakhstan and applies between it and all other Convention countries. In the event that Kazakhstan provides the information required by Article 57, the United States may revisit the objection.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott M. Lekan
Office of Child Support Enforcement
1 The following States participated in the Twenty-First Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law: "The undersigned, Delegates of Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, European Community, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela, Members, as well as the Representatives of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Holy See, India, Indonesia, Iran, Philippines and Viet Nam, participating as Observers, convened at The Hague from 5 to 23 November 2007, at the invitation of the Government of the Netherlands, in the Twenty-First Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law." (Final Act of the Twenty-First Session, The Hague, 23 November 2007).