OK, it’s not a pithy title. It is, however, the formal title of the document that I’m about to review. And it is an accurate description of what the document is about. Here it is: http://website-pace.net/documents/10643/1127812/EDOC_Social+services+in+Europe.pdf/dc06054e-2051-49f5-bfbd-31c9c0144a32.
Preliminary points then:
- I’ve blogged here before with a ‘Briefing paper on non-consensual adoption and the law‘. It included observations on the human rights dimension and on the European dimension. I am pleased to see that this is a Committee of the Council of Europe, saying pretty much exactly the same things as I did.
- PACE is the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which oversees the European Court of Human Rights. The origins of this report lie in a motion on “abuse by social services of member States of the Council of Europe of their authority to remove children from their parents’ custody” – a history of the progress of this report, including a visit to the United Kingdom, can be found here: http://website-pace.net/documents/10643/59254/RepPrepSOC-E.pdf/1b1d25ac-757f-4916-9c44-9180531dfae6#page=3.
- This report went to the Parliamentary Assembly last week, and the Assembly adopted the recommendations unanimously.
- The report expressly considers the practice of non-consensual adoption in the United Kingdom, and frames it within the broader context of practice elsewhere.