Photo: Marisa Montes

A growing number of children across Latin America and the Caribbean now face the difficult situation of having an incarcerated parent. This experience adversely affects children and often leads to a dangerous combination of trauma, shame and stigma. CWS leads and financially supports the only regional coalition that aims to make the more than two million children that experience parental incarceration in Latin America visible and known to states, civil society and advocates. We promote collaborative approaches to the development, implementation and evaluation of policy and programs that strengthen families and protect these children and their rights.

In the past year, this coalition has made great progress. CWS facilitated a visit to the Dominican Republic of two experts from the United States to meet with children’s rights advocates, government authorities, churches and prison officials and to raise the profile of the estimated 30,000 children with an incarcerated parent in the Dominican Republic.

Last October, CWS and partners were granted a formal hearing to present for the first time to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights in Washington, D.C. the situation of children with incarcerated parents in Latin America. Additionally, in April the CWS-supported platform held its second annual assembly in Mexico City as a way to introduce local authorities, civil society, academia and media to the reality and needs of the estimated 346,000 children with incarcerated parents in Mexico. CWS is also leading the work of the Argentinean roundtable that works around this issue and is supporting the first ever survey of children of incarcerated fathers in Guatemala along with UNICEF.

With the addition of members
from Chile & Mexico this year,
the CWS-supported
regional advocacy platform
now advocates on behalf of