10th October 2010
Update from the Office of the Croatian Ombudsman for Children about their work for Prisoners’ children:
The Office officially joined the Eurochips network in 2009, but has been a pro-active advocate for the rights of children with an imprisoned parents ever since attending the Eurochips conference in Paris 2006.
Here a brief account about the various initiatives launched by the Croatian Ombudsman for Children and her associates:
- all prison directors in Croatia are now acquainted with the Good practice guide
- the Ombudsman includes the topic of children of imprisoned parents in her annual adress to the Croatian Parliament, creates awareness during expert panels, during meetings with staff members of police force, social welfare, health, education and particularly from the judiciary system
- the significance to care for children of imprisoned parents has been highlighted during important conventions such as the Council of Europe, International Conference on Rights of the Child in Ljubljana, the ENOC Conference in Paris and the Conference of the Children’s Rights Ombudspersons’ Network in South and Eastern Europe
- a Book publication “Rights of Children of imprisoned parents”, comprising observations about the topic from various angles – psychological, family law, social, penal rehabilitation, penal law, and media. The publication was handed out to prisons, welfare centres, schools and kindergartens
- raising awareness about the significance of a support structure for the affected children at teachers assemblies of schools and kindergartens, and by providing a web seminar
- inviting affected children to participate in the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) organised by the Ombudsman’s office to share their experiences and voice their opinion
The current focus is to engage the civil sector in helping and supporting children and families of prisoners, as well in the preparation, development and participation during prison visits.
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