International Parental Child Abduction

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Country Information

Tunisia

Tunisia
Tunisian Republic
Exercise increased caution in Tunisia due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution in Tunisia due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.      

Do not travel to:

  • Within 30 km of southeastern Tunisia along the border with Libya due to terrorism.
  • Mountainous areas in the country’s west, including the Chaambi Mountain National Park area, due to terrorism.
  • The desert south of Remada due to the military zone.
  • Jendouba south of Ain Drahem and west of RN15, El Kef, and Kasserine, next to the Algerian border due to terrorism.
  • Sidi Bou Zid in central Tunisia due to terrorism.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Tunisia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, museums, resorts, markets/shopping malls, government facilities and security forces. A country-wide state of emergency, which grants security forces more authority to maintain civil order and enables the government to focus on combating terrorism, is in effect. 

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in some areas of Tunisia. U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside greater Tunis.   

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page

If you decide to travel to Tunisia:

  • Exercise caution when using public transportation, due to safety and security concerns.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be alert to the possibility of kidnapping.
  • Avoid staying overnight outside of the main cities and tourist locations.
  • Obtain comprehensive medical insurance that includes medical evacuation.
  • 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 Tunisia.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Border with Libya

Developments in Libya continue to affect the security situation along the Tunisian-Libyan border in areas such as Ras Jedir and Dehiba along with the cities of Ben Guerdan and Medenine. The border with Libya is frequently closed to all traffic with short notice for extended periods. The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to not travel to Libya. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Western Mountains and Chaambi Mountain National Park

Terrorist groups continue to operate in mountains of Western Tunisia. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

The Desert South of Remada

The desert south of Remada is designated as a military zone by the Government of Tunisia. Special authorization is required for travelers wishing to enter the military zone.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Jendouba El Kef and Kasserine near the Algerian Border

Terrorist groups continue to operate in these areas. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Sidi Bou Zid in Central Tunisia

Terrorist groups continue to operate in this area. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

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Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
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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ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Tunis

Les Berges du Lac
1053 Tunis, Tunisia
Telephone:
+(216) 71-107-000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 71-107-000, press 0 and ask for the duty officer
Fax: +(216) 71964-360

General Information

For information concerning travel to Tunisia, 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 Tunisia.

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

Tunisia acceded to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Convention) on July 10, 2017.  However, the United States and Tunisia are not yet treaty partners.  Until Tunisia and the United States establish a treaty relationship per Article 38 of the Convention, parents whose children have been abducted from the United States to Tunisia or wrongfully retained in Tunisia are unable to invoke the Convention to pursue their children’s return or seek access to them.

Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. Official versions of Tunisian family law may be found on the Ministry of Justice website. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Tunisia 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

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Fax: 202-485-6221
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website
Email: MiddleEastIPCA@state.gov

Parental child abduction is a crime in Tunisia. Tunisia’s penal code can be found at: http://www.e-justice.tn  

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 Tunisia 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 Tunisia 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 Tunisia are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, posts a 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 government of Tunisia does not offer mediation services to parents in custody disputes. However, a judge or attorney has the authority to offer alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as conciliation or mediation.

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: May 8, 2018

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Tunis
Les Berges du Lac
1053 Tunis, Tunisia
Telephone
+(216) 71-107-000
Emergency
71-107-000, press 0 and ask for the duty officer
Fax
+(216) 71964-360
Tunisia Map