On 6 September 2016, the Italian Minister for Justice, Andrea Orlando, has renewed his signature of COPE member Bambinisenzasbarre’s pioneering Memorandum of Understanding on children with imprisoned parents. The third signatory, Filomena Albano, Italian Ombudswoman for Childhood and Adolescence has also renewed her signature. This landmark document, a first in Europe, represents an agreement between the Ministry for Justice, the Ombudsman for Childhood and Adolescence and the NGO, regarding the fulfilment and protection of the rights of children of imprisoned parents. The Charter was signed for the first time on 21 March 2014, and since then improvements have been seen across the Italian prison system, including new green spaces created for children to play with their parents; visiting times outside school hours; and, importantly, data collection with regard to the children who visit their parents in prison on any given day.

The updated text, signed on 6 September 2016, can be viewed on Bambinisenzasbarre’s website here.

Italian Ombudswoman for Childhood and Adolescence, Filomena Albano, Italian Minister for Justice, Andrea Orlando, and Bambinisenzasbarre President, Lia Sacerdote, add their signatures to the renewed Memorandum of Understanding. COPE vice-president Viviane Schekter gave a speech underlining the importance of the document and three-way collaboration and support.

Author: Hannah Lynn