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COE-debate the role of fathers

 2 oktober 2015 Straatsburg, Council of Europe - Parliamentary Assemby debate on Equality and shared parental responsibility: the role of fathers


Ms Françoise Hetto-Gaasch, the Rapporteur of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, has written a remarkably wide-ranging explanatory memorandum which tackles the question of shared parental responsibility from a gender-equality viewpoint, but also takes children’s rights into account. 


In the light of these considerations, the Assembly calls on the member States to:

5.1. sign and/or ratify, if they have not already done so, the Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights (ETS No. 160) and the Convention on Contact concerning Children (ETS No. 192);

5.2. sign and/or ratify, if they have not already done so, the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and to properly implement it, ensuring that the authorities responsible for enforcing it co-operate and respond promptly;

5.3. ensure that parents have equal rights vis-à-vis their children under their laws and administrative practice, guaranteeing each parent the right to be informed and to have a say in important decisions affecting their child’s life and development, in the best interests of the child;

5.4. remove from their laws any difference based on marital status between parents who have acknowledged their child;

5.5. introduce into their laws the principle of shared residence following a separation, but under no circumstances in cases of sexual or gender-based violence, with the amount of time for which the child lives with each parent being adjusted according to the child’s needs and interests;

5.6. respect the right of children to be heard in all matters that affect them when they are deemed to have a sufficient understanding of the matters in question;

5.7. take shared residence arrangements into account when awarding social benefits;

5.8. take all necessary steps to ensure that decisions relating to children’s residence and to access rights are fully enforced, including by following up complaints with respect to failure to hand over a child;

5.9. encourage and, where appropriate, develop mediation within the framework of judicial proceedings in family cases involving children, in particular by instituting a court-ordered mandatory information session, by ensuring that mediators receive appropriate training and by encouraging multidisciplinary co-operation based on the “Cochem model”;

5.10. ensure that the professionals who come into contact with children during court proceedings in family cases receive the necessary interdisciplinary training on the specific rights and needs of children of different age groups, as well as on proceedings that are adapted to them, in accordance with the Council of Europe Guidelines on child-friendly justice; 2. Draft resolution adopted unanimously by the committee on 10 September 2015. 4 Doc. 13870 Report

5.11. encourage parenting plans which enable parents to determine the principal aspects of their children’s lives themselves and introduce the possibility for children to request a review of arrangements that directly affect them, in particular their place of residence; 5.12. introduce paid parental leave available to fathers, with preference being given to the model of non-transferable periods of leave.


see the full report : 




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