On Friday 20 May 2016, COPE will host its annual conference in Zagreb, Croatia. The title of this year’s conference will be: “Children with a parent in conflict with the law: What are their best interests? How can they be met?”
Today, approximately 1 million children in Europe are estimated to have a parent in conflict with the law on a given day each year; some 4,500 children are affected by this situation in Croatia alone. The decision to hold the COPE conference in Croatia this year was given added impetus by Croatia’s plans to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure (OP3 CRC) in 2016. This mechanism will allow children or their representatives to report child rights violations, including rights violations concerning children of prisoners, to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in cases where the national legal system fails to provide remedy for these violations.
The conference will focus on defining children’s best interests when a parent is in conflict with the law, whether imprisoned, arrested or on trial, and ensuring that these interests are met through good practice and the development of child-focused prison schemes.
Determining the best interests of children with imprisoned parents is not always straight-forward and further progress is needed in defining best interests standards. This conference aims to shed light on this theme, helping to clarify what constitutes best practice and how this best practice can be promoted and implemented more widely.
The conference will be co-hosted by the Ombudsman for Children for Croatia and will take place at the Old Town Hall in Zagreb. Speakers will include Judge Renate Winter, vice chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Margaret Tuite, Child Rights Coordinator at the European Commission, and Valentina Otmačić, President of UNICEF Croatia.
Registration is now open. Please follow this link.
Deadline for registration:
a. Early bird: until Tuesday 5 April, delegates €65, students, affiliates €50
b. Regular delegate: until Friday 29 April, €75, students, affiliates €60
c. Late registration (all categories): €95 (from 30 April to 6 May).
d. COPE Full members & Applicants: FREE
More information regarding registration will soon be available on the COPE website and via the COPE mailing list.
The COPE annual conference 2016 is being co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program of the European Union. COPE is very grateful to the Program for their support.