A Word from Maja Gabelica Šupljika, Deputy Ombudsperson for Children, Croatia ,on Commemoration of The Committee on the Rights of the Child’s Day of General Discussion “Children of incarcerated parents”
I really find that marking and commemorating the CRC Day of General Discussion “Children of incarcerated parents” is great and that is a good opportunity to look back and see what has changed during five years after the DGD and to estimate how big step this conference was in recognising the rights of children of prisoners.
I can say that the experience of participating at this conference as a member of former Eurochips (today COPE-Children of prisoners Europe) was so inspiring for me. I also find that this conference was a global, international and holistic platform to advocate for the rights of children of incarcerated parents that embraced at the same time European and Eurochips experiences.
From the Ombudsperson’s point of view, it was also a very important turning point in our work because from that moment, we have drawn the attention of an authority, such as the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to this issue, who recognised the rights of children of prisoners. We also dealt with this in discussion about The Supplementary Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the Implementation of children’s rights in Croatia on Periodic reports in January 2014. The Committee was familiar with the topic and accepted our recommendation related to children of parents in conflict with the law: Provide support to children of parents in conflict with the law, to imprisoned parents and to those who take care of children while their parents are incarcerated (in section V. Family environment and alternative care, paragraph C. Separation from Parents). The rights of these children were one of the questions posed in the dialogue during the dialogue held with the multi-sectoral delegation of the state.
Besides, the publication Collateral Convicts: Children of incarcerated parents, Recommendations and good practice from the UN Committee on the rights of the Child Day of General Discussion 2011 written by Oliver Robertson is an excellent, unavoidable and holistic source of information and recommendation of all aspects regarding this topic.
As you maybe know, the last COPE conference was held in Zagreb and was co-organised with Croatian Ombudsman for Children.
I am sending you the link http://www.dijete.hr/websites/dijete.hr/index.php/hr/vijesti-othermenu-98/1172-un-ov-odbor-za-prava-djeteta-raspravljao-o-djeci-iji-su-roditelji-u-zatvoru-.html of the news that we put on our web site in September 2011 about DGD (its in Croatian-).
Maja Gabelica Šupljika, Prof. psychology Deputy Ombudsman for Children – Republic of Croatia