Children of Prisoners Europe (at that time Eurochips) hosted the 2nd annual European Prisoners’ Children Week from 1-8 June in 2011.

Members throughout the network held events in their respective locations around the campaign theme, ‘Invisible’, in an effort to bring children with imprisoned parents into the media spotlight.

The message of the campaign was that the issue of children with imprisoned parents is one of public health, and specific attention needs to be focused on the repercussions of parental imprisonment on the psychological development of the child.  2011 marked the first time the campaign included its own microsite – a blog designed for raising awareness and gaining signatures on a letter drafted to the European Members of Parliament.

The letter asked the esteemed members for:

  • Policy reform initiatives which would create better prison visiting hours and conditions for children
  • The creation of monitoring groups, which would obtain further data collection on this group of children and current visiting centre conditions throughout Europe.  

In total, the campaign e-petition gained over 1,700 signatures and officially launched Eurochips into the world of social media via the creation of Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Throughout the week, Eurochips members were asked to promote the e-petition and blog to gain signatures within their own national channels.  As it was the first virtual-based campaign, it was considered an overall success with many lessons learned for future years including the importance of utilizing social media channels, blogs and the need for Eurochips to further develop a strong and active online presence.

In 2012 Eurochips intends to continue the online campaign for European Prisoners’ Children Week with the addition of a YouTube channel.

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