UNCRC 2011 Day of General Discussion

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s 2011 Day of General Discussion (DGD) on the theme ‘children of incarcerated parents’ has now finished.  It was reported that the Day was a great success, with 200 participants (the largest number ever) and detailed discussions on the issues in this first-ever major international gathering on the issue.

There have been a few updates since the Day was held at the end of September.  If you have any questions or want to get in touch, please email childrenofprisoners@quno.ch

1. Webcasting

The Day was webcast and the videos are now available to view online.  The meeting took place in two working groups (to cover all the variety of issues related to parental incarceration), which were broadcast separately. The links are below.

Opening plenary, Working Group 1 (Babies and children living with or visiting a parent in prison) and closing plenary session
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnCYl5FMPjE&feature=g-upl
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B37lLSkyhuc&feature=g-upl
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUsfjR5n89E&feature=g-upl
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnCYl5FMPjE&feature=g-upl
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV0NuFft_rg&feature=g-upl

The first contribution in Part 1 is in French, afterwards contributions are in English. Each video is about 1 hour long.

Working Group 2 (Children left ‘outside’ when their parent is incarcerated)
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YNeEm78C1U&feature=g-upl
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Gx2y9_eT8Q&feature=g-upl
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tKuW1OcDo0&feature=g-upl
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_RWKgGFe4E&feature=g-upl
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx15il4Qs6o&feature=g-upl
Part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzqv3Lby9Bc&feature=g-upl
Part 7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdyiivwc5EM&feature=g-upl
Part 8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcwLyeyiSfg&feature=g-upl
Part 9: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heZUIDec-NQ&feature=g-upl
Part 10: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF0U5WO0I1o&feature=g-upl
Part 11: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC_ho1pG1io&feature=g-upl

Please note that the sound quality is very poor until 5 minutes into Part 2.  Contributions are all translated into English.  Videos vary in length between 4 minutes and 35 minutes.

2. What’s next?

The Committee on the Rights of the Child is currently drafting its report of the DGD, which is expected to be presented at its forthcoming (Jan-Feb 2012) session. It will detail the main points and recommendations from the Day, as well as describe any next steps the Committee proposes to take. Members of the NGO Working Group on children of incarcerated parents are hoping to meet with the Committee at that session to discuss progress and ways of helping them to take forward this issue.

The Quaker UN Office is producing its own synthesis from the Day, drawing together the relevant points and good practice that came out during the discussions and in the written submissions received before the Day. This should be ready in early 2012.

3. Exhibition

People who came to Geneva for the Day of General Discussion may remember the ‘Collateral Convicts’ exhibition that accompanied the DGD and which described children’s experiences of having a parent in prison. Several participants at the DGD asked if they could borrow it to use in their home regions and the UNCRC are happy to announce that they can lend it out.  Because the panels are very large and therefore expensive to transport, the UNCRC are encouraging people in the first instance to use the electronic files of the exhibition to get their own hard copies of the exhibition produced, or alternatively to project the panels electronically. If you are interested in doing this and would like to receive the electronic files, please get in touch at childrenofprisoners@quno.ch. Also, if you want to borrow the original panels, please contact the UNCRC and they can discuss possibilities.


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