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26.08.2020

Ms. HETTO-GAASCH What Have You Done? to Promote Equal Shared Parenting in Luxembourg After Initiating in 2015 European Council Resolution 2079/15 | Letter to Ms. Françoise HETTO-GAASCH

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Françoise HETTO-GAASCH (CSV) – Luxembourg politician and a member of CSV, a Luxembourg political party. Member of the Luxembourg Parliament since 05/12/2013. Former Minister of Equality between Women and Men. 

Equal Shared Parenting – Alternating Residence –

– Council of Europe Resolution 2079/15

In 2015 following a hearing in Council of Europe titled ”Equality and Shared Parental Responsibility: the Rights of Fathers”, the participants stressed the importance of ensuring parental equality both in law and in practice.

The rapporteur of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination Ms. Françoise HETTO-GAASCH (Luxembourg, EPP/CD), raised arguments for “mediation” to be expanded as a means of easing tension between parents, in the best interest of children, who all too often become a pawn in the dealings between their parents.

During the discussion Ms. Françoise HETTO-GAASCH stated that “Mediation allows couples to focus on their relationship as parents after their conjugal relationship has come to an end”.

Prof. Dr. jur. Hildegund SÜNDERHAUF-KRAVETS from the Protestant University of Nuremberg, being one of the experts, further added voiced her opinion that “The model of Sole Custody after separation/divorce is based on an outdated family idéal and in such it is far away from equal parental responsibility. Shared Parenting model means that children spend almost equal time with both parents, who at the same time share legal, educational and practical responsibility.” 

Although for some social groups and ideologues this may come as a revelation, Ms. SÜNDERHAUF-KRAVETS only confirmed results of over 40 years of tests and empirical studies as well as consensus among leading expert psychologists that Shared Parenting is the most effective in protecting children emotional stability and their well-being during separation and after divorce of the parents.

Participants of the Council of Europe hearing agreed that although Shared Parenting may not be for everyone, for the vast majority of separated parents and most importantly their children Shared Parenting is the better alternative than the outdated parenting model with one resident parent and one parent becoming a visitor with every second weekend visiting rights.

Following the hearing and panel discussions in October 2015 Council of Europe voted on Resolution 2079/15 calling all EU member states to introduce Equal Shared Parenting – Alternating Residence as a rule and a base for Family Law.

It is now 2021 and so far, FAD – Fathers Against Discrimination a.s.b.l. has been unable to obtain explanation from the current Luxembourg government why after 5 years from the Council of Europe’s vote, the Luxembourg Parliament has still not voted on the CE Resolution 2079/15 calling for gender-parental equality in Luxembourg institutions.

The reasons behind the non-vote of the Luxembourg Parliament remain  a mystery, especially since the CE Resolution 2079/15 was initiated by Ms. Françoise HETTO-GAASCH, Luxembourg politician (CSV), former Minister of Equal Rights between Woman & Men, past and present member of the Luxembourg Parliament.

Some may argue that changes in the family law in Luxembourg were introduced on 1 November 2018. This is indeed the case but although these alterations presented to the public by the current Luxembourg government as “revolutionary”, the Equal Shared Parenting – Alternating Residence (Résidence Alternée in LU) model is still only an option not a default rule and a starting point and rarely introduced in Luxembourg. The judges of the Luxembourg Family Courts remain immune to the evidence that Equal Shared Parenting is the best option for the children and separated families further expanding suffering of Luxembourg children pulling  Luxembourg behind those nations for which gender equality is a true agenda and not another political marketing tool.

FAD – Fathers Against Discrimination a.s.b.l. has corresponded with Ms. HETTO-GAASCH over the course of last years asking whether she as an initiator of the CE Resolution 2079/15 has ever raised a motion in the Luxembourg Parliament regarding the Resolution and whether she has ever called her colleagues from CSV and the other members of the Luxembourg Parliament to vote on the Resolution. After all, the well-being of Luxembourg children and the future of the Luxembourg society in general should rise beyond party ranks and colors. It has been over 2 years since our first correspondence and we are still waiting for reply from Ms. HETTO-GAASCH.

Letter sent to Ms. Françoise HETTO-GAASCH –

– 13.06.2020

 

FAD – Fathers Against Discrimination a.s.b.l.
“Both Parents for All Children™”
29, Boulevard Prince Henri
L-1724 Luxembourg
Luxembourg

13 June 2020, Luxembourg

Chambre des Députés
The Honourable
Ms. Françoise HETTO-GAASCH
23, rue du Marché-aux-Herbes
L-1728 Luxembourg
Luxembourg

Dear Ms. HETTO,

My name is Patryk P. RYBIŃSKI and I am the President of FAD – Fathers Against Discrimination a.s.b.l. “Both Parents for All Children™”, a non-profit organization based in Luxembourg.

Our organization has been created to become a platform of dialog to promote gender equality of chance for both parents, to stop violation of children’s rights and to assure their well-being.

As an association we believe a child should never be deprived of his natural human right to family life and equal access to both parents. Nor does anyone have the right to decide which of his parents’ love has more value.

Considering the above we seek equal treatment of both parents during custody hearings in Luxembourg family courts. We support the rights of fathers and mothers to equal parenthood and successful professional career. We address the importance of family values promoting the positive impact a full and healthy family has on the upbringing of children.

In 2015 Council of Europe voted on Resolution 2079/15 you have personally initiated – http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-EN.asp?fileid=22220. The Resolution called for all EU member states to introduce Equal Shared Parenting – Alternating Residence as base for family law and a rule for children custody proceedings. An initiative that at that point in time was to be considered groundbreaking promoting gender equality across all social spheres of the member states of European Union with the objective to reach consensus that equality between parents must be guaranteed and promoted from the moment the child arrives.

The CE Resolution 2079/15 advocated the benefits of equal involvement of both parents in their child’s upbringing and the positive effects active presence of both father and mother has on emotional stability of a child. The initiative you have launched also underlined that the role of fathers with regard to their kids, including very young children, needs to be better recognized and properly valued.

It has been almost 5 years since the vote in Council of Europe. On behalf of FAD but most importantly speaking for Luxembourg children, families, parents and grandparents we would like to ask you if there has been any initiative in the last 5 years promoting Equal Shared Parenting – Alternating Residence in Luxembourg?

We are aware of the changes in the Luxembourg Code Civil introduced on 1 November 2018 but Equal Shared Parenting – Alternating Residence still remains only an option and not a default law and a starting point for all custody hearings in Luxembourg.

Could you please let us know if you are in possession of any information regarding number of custody proceedings since 2015 or statistical data indicating how many times Luxembourg Courts have introduced Equal Shared Parenting – Alternating Residence since?

As a former Luxembourg Minister of Equal Rights between Women and Men, previous and current member of the Luxembourg Parliament and finally the initiator of the Resolution could you please advise if you have ever taken opportunity to raise motion in the Luxembourg Parliament calling your colleagues from CSV and the rest of the members of the parliament to vote on the Resolution?

If this hasn’t been the case yet are you planning to address the parliament any time soon and advocate your initiative to promote Equal Shared Parenting – Alternating Residence to become a default law in Luxembourg and not only an option as it is now?

We would be interested to meet with you to discuss potential cooperation in advocating our cause. We will adjust to your calendar. Thank you in advance for your reply.

Most respectfully,
Luxembourg Parents and Grandparents
with Board Members and Members of the Association Members

FAD – Fathers Against Discrimination a.s.b.l.
“Both Parents for All Children™”

“Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn an mir kënnen e Beispill fir den Rescht vun Europa sinn.” –

– “We want to remain what we are and we can be an example for the rest of Europe.”

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