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The abuse by social services of member States of the Council of Europe of their authority to remove children from their parents’ custody

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 13054 | 10 October 2012

Mr Alexey PUSHKOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Tamerlan AGUZAROV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Miloš ALIGRUDIĆ, Serbia, EDG ; Ms Þuriður BACKMAN, Iceland, UEL ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Ms Nadezda GERASIMOVA, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Sabir HAJIYEV, Azerbaijan, SOC ; Mr Mike HANCOCK, United Kingdom, ALDE ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Anvar MAKHMUTOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Yevhen MARMAZOV, Ukraine, UEL ; Ms Zaruhi POSTANJYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Mr Armen RUSTAMYAN, Armenia, SOC ; Mr Samad SEYIDOV, Azerbaijan, EDG ; Mr Leonid SLUTSKY, Russian Federation, SOC ; Mr Valeriy SUDARENKOV, Russian Federation, SOC ; Mr Nikolaj VILLUMSEN, Denmark, UEL ; Ms Karin S. WOLDSETH, Norway, EDG ; Ms Svetlana ZHUROVA, Russian Federation, EDG

The Parliamentary Assembly welcomes the measures taken by the member States of the Council of Europe aimed at protecting children from violence and all forms of exploitation. To that end, juvenile justice and social patronage services actively use the rights vested in them.

However, an excessively broad interpretation by social services of their rights is becoming more frequent. This leads to conflict situations involving the removal of children from their parents’ custody.

National legislation of the member States provides for the removal of children from their parents’ custody only as a measure of last resort used for their protection. In practice social services often resort to this measure without proper justification and on the basis of unverified data. Most often this measure is used in relation to children of migrant families.

The Assembly should carry out a thorough analysis of such cases and take measures in order to truly protect the rights of children and families where they live.