Children of Inmates Participates in United Nations Conference

By Leon Fooksman

Children of prisoners live across the world, regardless of their country’s development and democratic status. Yet, there is little known about their situations. For instance: do these children have different sets of challenges in countries with less advanced legal systems, weak social structures, or limited Non-Governmental Organizations?

These are issues that will be tackled at a Nov. 17 conference held by the United Nations University - MERIT at Maastricht Graduate School of Governance to mark the 22nd anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Service Network for Children of Inmates will serve as the American representative in discussions covering struggles and issues facing these children as well as lessons learned and solutions in helping them.

According to organizers: “NGOs and activists in many countries have long been concerned about the children of incarcerated parents. However, scholars in the field of child rights have been involved only recently in campaigns and research to promote the rights of this group of children.”

The conference will aim to:
  • Raise awareness of the specific needs of this group of children.
  • Explore the struggles and issues faced by children of prisoners.
  • Examine local contexts and explore how legal systems, social organizations, NGOs, local communities, social networks, and political systems all shape the experiences of children of incarcerated parents.
  • Explore possible strategies to protect the rights of children of prisoners based on the local context.
  • Explore strategies for strengthening the bond between children and their imprisoned parents, extended families and local communities.

Let’s all make Nov. 17 the day we honor these innocent children who have endured so much. 

Click here to learn more about the event 

Leon Fooksman is a writer for Service Network for Children of Inmates. You can reach him at