Visitation rights and wrongs
Current provisions under Maltese law on visitation do not provide a child-friendly atmosphere for contact to take place and largely ignore the Council of Europe Prison Rules, which expect arrangements for visits to allow prisoners to maintain family relationships, Dr Farrugia writes in her paper.
“Unfortunately, visitation and contact are, at times, a matter of privilege, rather than right, and sometimes, they are based on logistical considerations that cloud human rights issues.”
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child places the onus on the State to review visitation from the child’s point of view and make arrangements in their best interest.
Policies and practices that render visitation difficult go against the spirit of the CRC, she argues.