The care and protection of children of incarcerated parents from a children right-based perspective

WANG Junjian1 HE Yanjie2

(1.Research Center of Teenager Issues, Henan Normal University)
(2.Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences, City University of Hong Kong)

【Abstract】Based on track investigations of children of incarcerated parents and related institutions for recent ten years, this paper finds out that the children of incarcerated parents lack the right to life, the right to being protected, the right to development, and the right to participation, as reflected in the following aspects: the responsible parties regarding guardianship and child-rearing are unclear; the social security and assistance have loopholes; the children’s education level and humanistic care are low; and the children’s independent choice and expression rights are restricted. We could realize the children’s rights supplement with two approaches. One approach is constructing a synergetic developmental child-welfare system; and the other approach is providing alternative, supportive, developmental and supplementary welfare services. Meanwhile, we could guarantee the realization of the rights regarding children of incarcerated parents through several action models, including government leading, institutional care, and relative rearing.

【Keywords】 children of incarcerated parents; children right-based perspective; care and protection;


【Funds】 The National Social Science Fund of China (13CSH096)

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(Translated by GUO Gengxun)


    [1]. (1) Children of incarcerated parents refer to the minors in de facto orphan state and in need of assistance because their parents break the law, namely, the minor children of the prisoners without effective guardianship because both parents are in prison, or one parent is in prison and the other one has died or lost the capacity, or because of other reasons. They are a special group with a narrower range than the minor children of the prisoners. [^Back]

    [2]. (2) See Crime Prevention Research Institute Research Group, Ministry of Justice. [^Back]

    [3]. (3) See Leading Group for Preventing Juvenile Delinquency, Comprehensive Treatment of Social Management Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. [^Back]

    [4]. (4) See Zhu, G. & Lin, K. [^Back]

    [5]. (5) See Yang, J. [^Back]

    [6]. (6) See Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. [^Back]

    [7]. (7) See Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. [^Back]

    [8]. (8) Department of Child Welfare, Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. [^Back]

    [9]. (9) The data come from Crime Prevention Research Institute Research Group, Ministry of Justice. [^Back]

    [10]. (10) See Part 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3280/C

Vol , No. 06, Pages 24-36+91-92

November 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Literature review
  • 2 Research methodology
  • 3 Deficiency of rights: an analysis of the current living situation of children of incarcerated parents
  • 4 Filling in the gap of the rights: construction of a child-welfare system of synergistic development
  • 5 Realization of the rights: the model of action for the care and protection of children of incarcerated parents
  • 6 Conclusion
  • Footnote