Resources for:

Children of Incarcerated Parents

March 2014

Oral Statement: Violence experienced by Children of Parents Sentenced to Death or Executed

Delivered to the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council - Interactive Dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children.

This statement highlights the psychological and mental violence experienced by children when their parents are sentenced to death or executed. These children have been invisible in statistics, policies and programmes. The statement provides examples of the welcome increasing attention in the UN to the situation and rights of these children. FWCC (Quakers) recommends that much more is done to understand how and why these children are exposed to violence and to undertake actions that can lead to their effective protection.

To view a video recording of the oral statement by QUNO's Rachel Brett, click here.

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October 2013

Geneva Reporter

Geneva's newsletter from July to October 2013. Features stories:

  • Children of parents sentenced to death or executed
  • New framework for trade and investment in agriculture
  • Conscientious objection to military service
  • New energy on nuclear disarmament
  • Highlights from QUNO New York

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September 2013

Impact of the death sentence on the children of the accused and measures to mitigate it, joint written statement to the 24th session of the Human Rights Council

This joint written statement was submitted by the Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers), Defence for Children International, Geneva Infant Feeding Association, the International Catholic Child Bureau, the International Institute for Child Protection and SOS Kinderdorf International. This submission highlights the need for increased attention to the impact on children of having a parent sentenced to death or executed. 

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September 2013

Oral Statement: Panel on Children of Parents Sentenced to the Death Penalty or Executed

This oral statement was delivered to the Panel on Children of Parents Sentenced to the Death Penalty or Executed at the 24th session of the Human Rights Council. It was submitted jointly by the Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers), Defence for Children International and the International Catholic Child Bureau.

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September 2013

Children of Parents Sentenced to Death or Executed: How are they affected? How can they be supported?

This document highlights the experiences of children with a parent(s) accused of a capital crime. From the point of arrest, to sentencing, to release or execution of the sentence, the study points out the devastating effects on these children’s physical and mental well-being. Unfortunately, these consequences are not paid much attention in criminal justice systems. The study concludes with recommendations for States.

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June 2013

Lightening the Load of the Parental Death Sentence on Children

This is a very detailed study exploring the situations of children whose parents have been sentenced with capital punishment. It looks first at the commonalities between their experiences and those of children whose parents have been incarcerated, and then at the differences between these groups of children. It also sets out recommendations.

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March 2013

Geneva Reporter

Geneva's newsletter from January to March 2013. Featured stories:​

  • QUNO engagement with climate talks
  • Natural resources, conflict and cooperation
  • Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners
  • Highlights from QUNO New York

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March 2013

Oral Statement on Mental Health of Children of Prisoners

This submission highlights the effects of imprisonment of a parent on mental health of children. It was submitted jointly by Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers) and the International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE) to the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council.

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September 2012

Oral Statement: Children of Parents Executed or Sentenced to Death

This submission welcomes the UN Secretary General’s report on the death penalty, in which the children of sentenced persons are recognized. It updates states about recent QUNO efforts to highlight the effects of parental execution or sentencing on children.

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August 2012

Geneva Reporter

Geneva's newsletter from May to August 2012. Featured stories:

  • Water, conflict and cooperation
  • Conscientious objection to military service
  • Highlights from QUNO New York
  • News in brief
  • Children of parents sentenced to death: New work at QUNO Geneva

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March 2012

Children of (Alleged) Offenders: Revised Draft Framework for Decision-Making

This publication arose out of QUNO’s wider work on the question of women in prison and children of prisoner’s. The study looks at children of incarcerated parents as individuals unto themselves, rather than as extensions of their parents, and therefore adopts a child’s rights approach. The Revised Draft Framework is a comprehensive exploration of the relevant child rights issues throughout the criminal justice process, from a parent’s arrest or detention to release following imprisonment. Examples of potential good practice, as well as relevant international/regional standards are included.

See also the following oral statement to the 14th session of the Human Rights Council.

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March 2012

Collateral Convicts: Recommendations and Good Practice from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Day of General Discussion 2011

The first time a UN body considered the question children with parents in prison was in September 2011, in a Committee on the Rights of the Child day of general discussion on the topic. This paper details the issues, good practice and recommendations relating to children of prisoners that emerged from that day of general discussion.

See also the related Briefing Paper and Exhibition.

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February 2012

Children of Parents Sentenced to Death

One of the first QUNO publications to deal exclusively with the question of children whose parents are sentenced to death, paving the way for other documents in the same series. This paper raises awareness of some of the issues facing such children. It considers and elaborates on these issues in as much detail as the literature available at the time permitted, and highlights directions for future study.

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February 2012

Written statement: Children of incarcerated parents (2012)

In this submission to 19th session of the Human Rights Council, QUNO highlights the risks to physical and mental well-being faced by children of incarcerated parents. It recalls general principles to be kept in mind when considering and/or interacting with these children. Finally, it highlights potential examples of good practice.

See also the written statement on the same subject issued the previous year (2011).

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October 2011

If my parents go to prison, what happens to me? (Briefing Paper)

In 2011, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child held a Day of General Discussion on the issue of children of incarcerated parents, marking the first time that this issue had been discussed substantively anywhere within the UN system. This Briefing Paper provides a brief synopsis of the Day of General Discussion.

See also Collateral Convicts: Recommendations and Good Practice, and the related Exhibition.

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October 2011

Geneva Reporter

QUNO Geneva Newsletter for July 2011 to October 2011. Featured stories:

  • Sustainability: Inspiration for QUNO from Britain Yearly Meeting Gathering
  • REDD - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation
  • News from QUNO New York
  • Engaging with Civil Society: Voices on Armed Violence in the Balkans
  • News in Brief
  • If My Parents Go to Prison, What Happens to Me?

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September 2011

Collateral Convicts: If my parents go to prison, what happens to me? Exhibition on children of incarcerated parents

An exhibition by the NGO Group for the Committee on the Rights of the Child, focusing on “the often neglected issue of children of incarcerated parents. It includes drawings and quotes by children from across the world and highlights local initiatives that address the issue and seek to fulfill the rights of children whose parents are incarcerated.”

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February 2011

Written statement: Children of incarcerated parents (2011)

In this statement to the 16th session of the Human Rights Council, Quakers welcome the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the Bangkok Rules, calling on States to ensure they are appropriately disseminated. The statement also welcomes the Committee on the Rights of the Child having decided to dedicate the 2011 Day of General Discussion to the theme of “children of incarcerated parents.”

See also the written statement on the same subject issued a year later.

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