IIN and NNAPES present Technical Guidelines to promote and comprehensively protect children whose primary carers are incarcerated

IIN and NNAPES present Technical Guidelines to promote and comprehensively protect children whose primary carers are incarcerated

The Inter-American Children Institute of the Organization of American States (IIN / OAS) and the Regional Platform for the Defense of the Rights of children and adolescents with adult relatives deprived of liberty (NNAPES), are presenting the document “Guidelines to promote and comprehensively protect children and adolescents whose primary carers are incarcerated.”

This aims to provide the States with guidelines on how to address this issue from their different offices. Therefore, it includes recommendations for the implementation of actions in order to strengthen the protection of the rights of children and adolescents with primary carers and/or adult relatives deprived of liberty.

Children who come into contact with the criminal justice system due to the adult relative’s incarceration are exposed to a series of situations that, in general, worsen the poverty and social exclusion in which these families live. These are children that face the emotional and psychological impact of separating from their loved one, the risk of breaking up of family relationships and the difficulties in maintaining these relationships. On top of this, these children and youth are at risk of neglect and/or abandonment and are usually victims of stigmatization and discrimination. In addition, this situation usually affects the financial situation of the household and leads to children assuming adult roles—leaving the formal education system to work or become caretakers for younger siblings—in order to help their families.

Since 2011, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has highlighted the importance of exploring issues related to the Human Rights of children of incarcerated parents, with the aim of providing normative and practical guidance to states and other relevant actors in the respect, promotion and fulfillment of the rights of children in these types of situations. In turn, the OAS General Assembly, through the Declaration on “Violence and Exploitation against Children” (AG / DEC. 76 (XLIVO / 14)), has urged States to have clear and measurable goals and indicators that ensure that children are free from violence and exploitation, including statistics on those who do not receive adequate care or are at risk of inadequate care.

On the occasion of the XXII Pan American Children and Adolescents Congress, the IIN and the Plataforma NNAPES present this document that highlights the importance of creating coordinated actions between states, civil society organizations and various social actors in order to articulate  procedures and practices that are respectful of the rights and wellbeing of children and take their best interest into account in order to provide timely and effective  response to the problems they are faced with.

Available here