This talk was part of a podcast on BBC Radio 4, first broadcast 30th June 2021. For the full podcast version, including an extended Q & A, go to Four Thought, on BBC Sounds
It is one year since prisons in the UK instituted restricted regimes in a bid to manage the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is one year since many of the 300,000 children whose parent is in prison have been able to see their parent. A report, published 15th March 2021, highlights the experiences of more than 70 children and their caregivers during the first lockdown in 2020. Available to download here.
The pandemic has impacted on the rights of children whose parent is in prison. Their right to family life (Article 8, Human Rights Act, 1998)
I keep experiencing cognitive dissonance. It comes from reading government speeches and accounts that say one thing, set against a reality (much of which the
Children need carefully supported and good contacts with their parents. Digital contact should be used to enhance face to face contacts; it should not be the pinnacle of contact, experienced by only a tiny proportion of children during this time. Particular thought should be given to the ways to re-introduce face to face contact for younger and disabled children who cannot engage with telephone or digital contact effectively
This week, the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and it seems fitting that I’ve spent my week travelling