Throughout 2017, COPE worked closely with the Council of Europe’s Council for Penological Co-operation (PC-CP) to draft a Recommendation and Explanatory Memorandum on children with imprisoned parents.
On 4th of April, Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has adopted this Recommendation and issued it to its 47 Member States which is a real milestone for the COPE network and for the children.
The crucial role of this Recommendation is to stress that children with imprisoned parents are entitled to the same rights as other children, as long as it is in the best interests of the child.
The Recommendation contains 56 articles which provide informations and guidances how to act from the moment of a parent’s arrest. It is important to notice that child, who has imprisoned parents may face up to anxiety, trauma and pressure.
Due to it is priority to sustain child-parent relationship, because it is essential for child’s well-being and healthy development. It also helps the parent to make then the reintegration into family and society easier.
To minimise the impact of a parent’s imprisonment on children, the Recommendation outlines that authorities should allow alternative measures to imprisonment such as home leave, open prisons and electronic monitoring, which facilitate a parent’s transition once released. The distance between the prison where the parent is placed and the child’s home should be minimal and, where feasible, children should be allowed frequent contact with their parent through telephone calls, webcam or chat.
Links to the Recommendation and Explanatory Memorandum are placed below:
– https://search.coe.int/cm/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectId=09000016807b3175– https://search.coe.int/cm/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectId=090000168078b181