UN exhibits Zehr’s photos on children of prisoners

A branch of the United Nations is featuring Howard Zehr’s photo-portraits of the children of U.S. prisoners in an conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Sept. 30, 2011.

The exhibit complements a major meeting of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on Sept. 20, where UN officials will focus on rights and needs of children of incarcerated parents for the first time in history.

Zehr is a professor in the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University.

“Despite affecting millions of children worldwide—over 2 million children in the USA alone are believed to have parents in prison— this is the first time that this neglected issue has been discussed substantively anywhere in the UN system,” said a statement issued by “NGO Group for the CRC.”

Rachel Brett of the Quaker United Nations Office added: “This is an issue where no one country or region is a clear world leader.”

Zehr’s photo-portraits originally appeared in a book issued early in 2011 entitled “What Will Happen To Me?” Co-authored by Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz ’81, the book was “intended to alleviate the sense of shame and isolation felt by the children of prisoners and to support their resiliency,” said Zehr.

“What Will Happen To Me?,” is available through GoodBooks.com or any major online retailer.

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