15th February 2004

The Council of Europe has invited Eurochips to submit recommendations on children maintaining family ties with imprisoned parents for the European Prison Rules (EPR, 1987), which are currently undergoing revision. The European Prison Rules, in effect a series of penal guidelines, are a tool for ensuring respect for human rights in detention centers; the Parliamentary Assembly is urging that it be speedily completed. Yet the EPR are not legally binding on Member States. In hopes of resolving this problem, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is drawing up a report (rapporteur: Michel Hunault) which proposes the drafting of a European Prisons Charter to lay down standards binding on States (see Doc. 10097 / 19 February 2004, Council of Europe). The European Parliament motion for a resolution (2003/2188 (INI)) on the rights of prisoners in the European Union expressly mentions the proposal for such a charter put forward by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

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Author: rmchristen