Incarcerated Connection: A New Focus on Child Rights

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession on 20 November 1989. It is the most widely accepted human rights treaty and one of the first treaties to incorporate civil, political, social, economic, cultural and humanitarian rights. Various groups of children are therefore acknowledged and referred to in the Convention, including children of incarcerated parents. In its Article 9, the Convention refers specifically to the children of imprisoned parents, while other articles have indirect references and application to this group of children.

Children of incarcerated parents live all around the world, regardless of their country’s development and democratic status. However, there is little known about the similarities or differences of their situation. For instance, do children of prisoners have different sets of problems and obstacles in countries with less advanced legal systems, weak social organizations, or less developed Non-Governmental Organizations?

NGOs and activists in many countries have long been concerned about the children of incarcerated parents. However scholars in the field of child rights have been involved only recently in campaigns and research to promote the rights of this group of children. This year, the Committee on the Rights of the Child will dedicate one day of its 58th Session (19 September – 6 October) on ‘Children of Incarcerated Parents’.

The main theme of our event is ‘Children of Incarcerated Parents’. In focusing on this topic, the UNU-Merit/School of Governance, join hand in hand with other international organizations to seize the momentum created by the Committee on the Rights of the Child to advocate for the rights of this group of children.

Venue: UNU-MERIT, Keizer Karelplein19, Maastricht

Date: 17 November 2011

Time: 10:00 - 18:00  CET