COVID-19 and the Rights of Children of Parents who are Incarcerated (Penal Reform International)

As part of the Humanity Hub’s first seasonal programming theme, focusing on COVID responses, we will share insights by members of the Humanity Hub community and the Hague Peace & Justice ecosystem. This week, we are spotlighting Penal Reform International’s report on impacts and recommendations on the rights of children whose parents are incarcerated in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is impacting all elements of society.

As governments respond to this urgent crisis, it is imperative that all actions taken to tackle the virus and its spread be human rights based. While it is true that the virus does not discriminate, it is accentuating and exacerbating longstanding inequalities in our societies, leaving particular groups exposed to heightened vulnerability. Groups who were already vulnerable or on the margins of society require particular attention to ensure the promotion and protection of their rights.

Among these groups requiring targeted attention and action are children of incarcerated parents, including both children residing in prisons with their parents or caregivers, or under house arrest and those separated from their parents or caregivers by incarceration. The Covid-19 pandemic and State responses to it pose specific challenges for the full enjoyment of the rights of these children and their families.