In May 2011, Children of Prisoners Europe (at that time Eurochips) and the Danish Institute for Human Rights hosted an exhibition of children’s art on the theme of parental imprisonment, alongside specially commissioned, powerful sculptures by Mieke Vase, a Paris-based Dutch artist, in an open gallery space within the European Parliament.
The exhibition helped draw people to the launch event of the DIHR & Eurochips report ‘Children of Imprisoned Parents’ which was generously hosted by the Danish MEP, Britta Thomsen.
The report includes case studies conducted in Denmark, Italy, Poland and Northern Ireland. It examines the various stages of the criminal justice process – from arrest to release – through the eyes of the children affected, their parents, police officers, prison officers and social workers. It was published by the Danish Institute for Human Rights in cooperation with Eurochips, University of Ulster and COPE Network member Bambinisenzasbarre.
The event was attended by some 70 people from within the Parliament (MEPs, advisors and researchers) and outside organisations – including several COPE Network members who came to support the event. Over the 2 days the exhibition was on show, many more ‘passers-by’ were drawn to the exhibition, spending time taking in the pictures and reading the messages, while several were spotted intently reading the ‘glossy’ report from cover to cover.
Alongside the events, Children of Prisoners Europe and the DIHR held a select number of meetings with representatives from the European Commission, the President of the European Parliament’s office and strategically chosen MEPs, who gave us extremely useful advice on how to take our recommendations forward.
In particular we inform you on the recently released EC Green Paper on Justice which will provide a focal point for pushing some of our core messages out and we are urging Eurochips members to respond to the consultation.
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