2nd June 2015
The annual Children of Prisoners Europe June campaign, “Not my crime, still my sentence”, aims to inform, raise awareness about and draw attention to the rights and needs of children separated from a parent in prison.
"Children of imprisoned parents: ordinary children dealing with extraordinary life circumstances."
Children with imprisoned parents are ordinary children facing unusual life circumstances. They have committed no crime yet are often tarred with the same brush as their parents. Children separated from a parent in prison may face various difficulties during, and after, the imprisonment of a parent. These can include instability; disruption of the child-parent bond; violence (e.g., bullying, witnessing a parent’s violent arrest); feelings of guilt, fear and shame; stigmatisation and social exclusion.
However, just because a child’s parent is in prison does not automatically dictate that the child’s life will be negatively affected and certainly does not in any way predict that the child will go on to become a criminal or develop mental health problems in later life as some policymakers assume. The focus of this campaign is on the child, their wellbeing and the bond with their parent, in whatever form this may be.
This year's campaign aims to raise awareness about the different needs and wishes of children of imprisoned parents, focusing on Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC): the right of the child to be heard and to have his or her opinion taken into account.
A brand new 5-language campaign video focuses on taking into account the various opinions and views that children of imprisoned parents may express in reaction to the imprisonment of their parent.
We call on you to listen to these children, to pay attention to their varying wants and needs.
We call on you to take action on their behalf, to allow them the opportunity to express themselves that they deserve.
We call on you to support the campaign.
Visit the Children of Prisoners Europe campaign site and pledge your support for children of imprisoned parents.