The protection of children’s rights represents a major objective within any democratic society having a strong impact for its future and progress. The increasing number of cases when children are removed from their families, in several States of the Council of Europe, while ignoring the importance of the child to maintain ties with their family and their ethnic, cultural and religious origins, should be further addressed.
Further action should be taken trying to urge the authorities, while privileging the best interest of the child, to achieve a genuine balance with the need of maintaining unity or reuniting the children with their biological family, including the enlarged family.
The European Court of Human Rights recently handed down judgments on the violation of the right to respect for family life (Article 8 of the Convention) in such cases. The Parliamentary Assembly has already expressed its concerns, in Resolution 2049 (2015), about the violation of children’s rights when the social services of several member States take some children into care too rashly without making enough effort to support families before/after removal and placement decision. Furthermore, in Resolution 2232 (2018), the Assembly calls for the member States to seek to end abusive practices, such as the removal of children from parental care at birth, and to give support to families in order to avoid, through a better collaboration with the parents, the necessity for removal decisions and any possible mistakes based on misunderstandings, stereotyping and discrimination.
The Assembly should not remain inactive when the respect for children rights enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, are put into question and should further debate on these issues.