At the end of last week, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution without a vote (so with consensus), calling for a panel debate at the Council on children of parents sentenced to death or executed.
Children are often the forgotten victims of the death penalty, and suffer extreme emotional trauma and stigma from having a parent sentenced to death or executed. In some countries they are prevented from visitng their parents on death row, or from touching/hugging them. They are often not informed about the date of execution and are unable to say goodbye, and some countries do not even return the body for burial or inform families where the body has been buried, making the grieving process so much more acute.
The resolution was tabled by the Permanent Mission of Belgium, which called on the Council to convene a panel discussion in September with a particular focus on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed.
PRI has a long-standing interest in the rights of children of parents sentenced to death or executed. Read a recent presentation on the death row phenomenon, including its impact on children of prisoners, at last month’s Human Rights Council.
The Quakers United Nations Office (QUNO) produced a report on children of parents sentenced to death in February 2012.
Earlier this month on the 18 March, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution calling for a high-level meeting on the death penalty.