The application of international legal instruments regarding the protection and custody of children and young persons can prevent certain de facto situations from becoming definitive, due to the displacement of children or youth outside the State of habitual residence or by their wrongful retention in the State in which they don’t have their habitual residence, without the knowledge or consent of the holder(s) of custody.
The application of these instruments of international law can also prevent the non-exercise of access rights of the rightful holder(s).
In this area, international judicial cooperation entails the collaboration between administrative and judicial authorities of different States to protect children and young people and facilitate the exercise of rights of access or custody by the holder(s), whenever a cross-border situation is involved.
The General Directorate of Reintegration and Prison Services is the designated Portuguese Central Authority, for the following international law instruments:
The powers of the DGRSP, as the Portuguese Central Authority, result from article 3rd., item j) of Decree-Law nr. 215/2012 of September 28th., according to which the DGRSP has, among others, the task of contributing to the elaboration of instruments of international judicial cooperation and to ensure compliance with procedures resulting from conventions in which the DGRSP is the Central Authority.
In this context, and in accordance with paragraphs 7 and 7.1 of Order nr. 9954/2013, the Legal and Litigation Office (GJC) is the organic unit responsible for technical and legal support to the organs and services of the DGRSP and among other missions, responsible for representing DGRSP as the Portuguese Central Authority in matters of child abduction and the promotion and protection of children and young people.