International Family Mediation is being increasingly encouraged by legal and administrative State authorities to resolve cross-border family disputes. Thus, it is becoming apparent that clear, overarching principles for International Family Mediation are necessary to ensure the highest standards of practice among international family mediators around the world.

A Collaborative Process was initiated in 2015 to draft an international Charter applicable to all States. This Charter complements Codes of Conduct and Charters that were elaborated regionally or among existing networks. It aims to enhance them while adding a set of professional and ethical requirements specifically for international family mediation across regions. The nature of this Charter is to serve and reflect the great variety of international family mediation practices around the world. All existing structures relevant to International Family Mediation participated in the creation of this overarching document of reference.

The Charter for International Family Mediation Processes contains 10 core principles to be respected during cross-border mediations. These principles can be seen as a tool to disseminate general knowledge about the recourse. More significantly, parents engaging in mediation can become informed about the necessary standards of practice and be assured that mediation is effective in safeguarding their rights. Examples of good practices will complement this list of principles and demonstrate their applicable nature.

ISS General Secretariat plays the role of facilitator and coordinator, and has the privilege to bring together all specialised structures and networks as well as independent professional mediators working for public services or within the ISS network. These mediators are specialists in cross-border family conflicts and come from around the globe to exchange expertise, multi-cultural perspectives, experiences, and lessons learned in issues of training, deontology and general practice.

The Charter lays a foundation for the development of international cooperation among family mediation practitioners specialising in cross-border conflicts as well as legal and administrative authorities. The end goal is to pave the way for the creation of one centralised and reliable network of qualified practitioners, recognised and accessible to all.




(also available in WORD).


Other relevant regional and international instruments:

Council of Europe: Recommendation No. R (98) 1 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on Family Mediation; Recommendation Rec (2002)10 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on mediation in civil matters; Guidelines for a Better Implementation of the Existing Recommendation Concerning Mediation in Penal Matters

European Union: Directive 2008/52/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on Certain Aspects of Mediation in Civil and Commercial Matters; European Code of Conduct for Mediators

The Hague Conference: Principles for the Establishment of Mediation Structures in the Context of the Malta Process