To mark the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in November calling for the full implementation of the Convention to guarantee respect for the rights of all children. The EP Resolution represents a milestone for child rights. Children with imprisoned parents are explicitly mentioned in Article 13, which calls on the Commission to assess the impact of detention policies and criminal justice systems on children; points out that across the EU children’s rights are directly affected in the case of children living in detention facilities with their parents; underlines the fact that an estimated 800 000 children in the EU are separated from an imprisoned parent each year, which impacts on the rights of children in multiple ways.
In addition, the European Parliament approved the establishment of an Intergroup on children’s rights on 11 December 2014, a cross-party, cross-national group of MEPs that aims to mainstream children’s rights in EU internal and external action. The first official meeting of the Intergroup took place this week in Strasbourg. The Intergroup is co-chaired by Caterina Chinnici, MEP Italy and Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, MEP Sweden. The creation of this intergroup was the result of the advocacy efforts of the COPE network and 14 other child rights networks that contributed to the Child Rights Manifesto for the creation of a permanent mechanism with explicit responsibility for protecting and promoting children’s rights across all policy sectors in internal and external affairs.