"In the absence of a child being judged to be at risk or imminent risk of suffering serious harm, in particular physical, sexual or psychological abuse, it is not enough to show that a child could be placed in a more beneficial environment for his upbringing to remove a child from his or her parents and even less to sever family ties completely.
Children’s rights are violated both by unwarranted decisions taken in member States to remove them from (or not to return them to) parental care, and by unwarranted decisions taken in member States not to remove them from (or to return them too early to) parental care. Member States should thus put into place laws, regulations and procedures which truly put the best interest of the child first in removal, placement and reunification decisions. The competent Council of Europe body should develop policy guidelines for member States on how to avoid practices deemed abusive in this context, i.e. (except in exceptional circumstances) severing family ties completely, removing children from parental care at birth, basing placement decisions on the effluxion of time, and having recourse to adoptions without parental consent."
The report, that is to be debated at the spring Plenary session of PACE in April 2015, contains a number of draft resolutions and recommendations, including the fact that "even when such separation is necessary, children have the right to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests." It also mentions that "financial and material poverty should never be the only justification for the removal of a child from parental care, but should be seen as a signal for the need to provide appropriate support to the family. It is not enough to show that a child could be placed in a more beneficial environment for his upbringing to remove a child from his or her parents and even less to sever family ties completely."
The lack of support to families - among a number of other areas - is elaborated on in detail (p. 10-11)
Read the full report here