The Rights of Children of Imprisoned Parents

  • Helen CoddEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


Children of imprisoned parents are being recognised increasingly as rights bearers, at least in academic and practitioner research publications. This builds on the substantial existing jurisprudential framework of prisoners’ rights and children’s rights which exists in many countries and which has evolved to include and reflect international treaties and Conventions alongside domestic legal principles.

This chapter outlines key sources of rights for children of incarcerated parents then explores two key issues which illustrate the opportunities and challenges for legislators, policy-makers and the judiciary posed by a commitment to recognising and implementing children’s rights, i.e. first, children’s rights when a court is considering imposing a custodial sentence on a parent, and, second, the specific issues raised when considering whether a child should reside with a parent in a custodial setting. In particular, the chapter will consider the significance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 1989, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) 1950 and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 1990. The chapter concludes with a discussion of good practice in promoting and protecting the rights of children with incarcerated parents, questioning the limitations of rights-based approaches in themselves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lancashire Law SchoolUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK

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