International Parental Child Abduction

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Country Information

Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Côte d'Ivoire
Republic of Côte d'Ivoire
Exercise increased caution in Cote d’Ivoire due to crime and terrorism.

Exercise increased caution in Cote d’Ivoire due to crime and terrorism.

Violent crime, such as carjacking, robbery, and home invasion, is common.

Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting areas frequented by foreigners, such as beaches.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Abidjan. Embassy personnel are prohibited from driving outside the major cities after dark, including between Abidjan, Grand Bassam, and Assinie.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Cote d’Ivoire:

  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Carry a copy of your passport and visa (if applicable) and leave originals in your hotel safe.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Cote d’Ivoire.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist
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Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Abidjan

Cocody Riviera Golf,
01 BP 1712 Abidjan 01
Côte d’Ivoire

Telephone: +(225) 22-49-40-00

Emergency After-HoursTelephone: +(225) 22-49-44-50

Fax: +(225) 22-49-42-02

General Information

For information concerning travel to Cote d’Ivoire, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Cote d’Ivoire.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

Hague Abduction Convention

Cote d’Ivoire is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Cote d’Ivoire and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. The government of Côte d’Ivoire maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet through a commercially produced site at http://www.loidici.com.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Cote d’Ivoire and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website:  travel.state.gov
Email: AskCI@state.gov

Parental child abduction may be treated as a misdemeanor or a criminal offense in Cote d’Ivoire under Articles 370 (4) through 372 of the New Law 2015-134 of March 08, 2015 governing child abduction. This law makes removal of a child from a person who has legal custody an offense with possible fines and imprisonment.

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Cote d’Ivoire and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.   Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Cote d’Ivoire for information and possible assistance.

Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Cote d’Ivoire are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire posts list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

Mediation

The Ivorian government does not provide mediation services and there are no private agencies that offer mediation services for civil disputes.  However, if there are reported cases of children mistreated and in danger, these cases will be referred for mediation to the Department of Social Welfare.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Last Updated: October 1, 2013

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Abidjan
Cocody Riviera Golf,
01 BP 1712 Abidjan 01
Côte d’Ivoire
Telephone
+(225) 22-49-40-00
Emergency
+(225) 22-49-44-50
Fax
+(225) 22-49-42-02
Côte d'Ivoire Map