Press release and Conference Conclusions

CONFERENCE on the CHILD REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS in the COUNCIL of EUROPE MEMBER STATES and Related Human Rights Issues
Press release and Conference Conclusions

 

Dear colleagues,

On 3 October 2014 the international Conference on the Child Removal Proceedings in the Council of Europe Member States and Related Human Rights Issues was held on Charles University in Prague, organized by the European Institute of Law and Forensic Engineering.
During the ceremony in Old Town Hall, before the conference, the documentary films about concerned families were projected and participants had an opportunity on informal level to share their practical experiences in the field of child removal and thus to establish the base for their further cooperation.

On the conference the interventions were made by Mr Ján Kuklík, Dean of the Faculty of Law of Charles University in Prague, Mr John Hemming MP, member of British Parliament, Ms Jitka Chalánková, member of Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Ms Marica Pirošíková, Agent of the Government of the Slovak Republic before the European Court of Human Rights, Ms Ruby Harrold-Claesson, President of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights, Mr Grégory Thuan Dit Dieudonné, former senior lawyer at the ECHR and attorney, Ms Lucja Miara from Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and many others experts from all Europe.


The participants of conference reached the conclusions in which they inter alia expressed serious concerns about the reports on forcible withdrawal of the children from their biological families without any relevant ground in some Member States of the Council of Europe and invited the Member States to ensure that the competent domestic authorities, when deciding on the adoption and/or placing into care of children take into account the requirements stemming from the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. They recalled that children ought to be separated from their natural parents only in very exceptional circumstances and the Member States have to provide practical assistance to families in trouble so as to minimise the number of cases in which a child must be separated from his or her parents. Finally, they invited the Member States, while adopting new legislation, to respect their obligations resulting from the international treaties cited in the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, adopted on 30 November 2012, No. 1908 (2012) on Human Rights and Family Courts.

Mr. Erik Bihary
Agent and Conference Coordinator
European Institute of Law and Forensic Engineering
+421/ (0)908 150 149
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CONFERENCE CONCLUSIONS

The participants of the Conference
having regard to the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, adopted on 30 November 2012, No. 1908 (2012) on Human Rights and Family Courts;
reminding that the best interest of the child shall be a primary consideration by all decisions about the child. The children should have been raised in a family environment, in the atmosphere of the happiness, love and tolerance;
recalling that a family environment offers the best conditions for the proper development of children. Before children are placed in the care of outsiders or in institutional care, their own families should be granted any assistance needed in order to cope with their problems.
recalling that children ought to be separated from their natural parents only in very exceptional circumstances, subject to judicial review and in line with the requirements stemming from the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989;
expressing serious concerns about the cases in which children have been forcibly withdrawn from their biological families without any relevant ground in some Member States of the Council of Europe;
invite the United Kingdom to ensure that the domestic procedures concerning the adoption and placing into care of children are established in line with the principles stemming from the European Convention on Human Rights;
invite the Member States of the Council of Europe to ensure that the competent domestic authorities, when deciding on the adoption and/or placing into care of children take into account the requirements stemming from the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, give priority to the best interests of the child, provide practical assistance to families in trouble so as to minimise the number of cases in which a child must be separated from his or her parents and act speedily so as to avoid irreversible damage to the parties’ family life;
invite the Member States of the Council of Europe, while adopting new legislation, to respect their obligations resulting from the international treaties cited in the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, adopted on 30 November 2012, No. 1908 (2012) on Human Rights and Family Courts.

 

PRAGUE CONFERENCE on Child Removal in Council of Europe Member States – in a Nutshell

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