Why Norway should back down


Source: The Hindu by Vegard Iversen

There is something deeply disturbing about the superiority and moral authority in the attitude of the country’s Child Protection Services to child rearing practices of immigrants; it harks back to darker, less civil and, one would have hoped, long bygone times.

The ongoing case in which the Child Protection Services (CPS) in Stavanger, Norway, have placed two Indian children in a foster home raises important questions about not only the judgment of the representatives of a so-called model state, but also their lack of respect for the possibility that many questions around child care and upbringing may not have definitive answers and therefore a moral basis for passing verdicts about the right and wrong of a wide range of parenting practices.

In a column in the leading Norwegian newspaper,Aftenposten, on February 17, Professor Nina Witoszek at University of Oslo brought to light a similarly distressing case involving two Polish children, Tomasz and Maria, also forcibly taken away from their parents and placed in Norwegian foster homes by the CPS in Stavanger. Prof Witoszek has seen the case papers and compares the behaviour of the CPS with a Politburo policing and enforcing strict parenting norms at the expense of emotional support and empathy. This case also illustrates how, under the powerful mandate of the CPS, malign gossip can suffice to prompt the forcible removal of children from their parents.

DEPRIVED OF FAMILY NETWORK

Turning to the case of Avignan and Aishwarya Bhattacharya and their parents, Anurup and Sagarika, there are too many disturbing claims already in the public domain to remain indifferent. Sagarika Bhattacharya, at the time of the CPS intervention in May 2011, cared for the two children, the boy then aged three and the four-month-old daughter, while Anurup was employed in the oil industry in Stavanger. Both parents were deprived of the family networks that under other circumstances they would have been able to mobilise and draw generous support from. Anyone familiar with and sensitive to the struggles of the Bengali or any diaspora, whether portrayed by Jumpa Lahiri, translated on to the screen by Mira Nair or through other literary, academic or cinematic works, would know that South Asians heading for distant shores leave behind and exchange the often remarkable warmth of their native folks for destinations and locals who may come across as reserved, if not outright hostile.

Stavanger, when compared to the buzz, informality and everyday tamasha of an Indian town, is clean, comparatively cold and remarkably uneventful. And one has to be rather unimaginative or just bereft of human experience to not realise that the transition from the familiar to the new and on this occasion very different, carries with it a genuine risk of trauma. Post-natal depressions are common enough in women: add to this the challenges associated with settling down in an unfamiliar culture, the likely social isolation of in particular the mother and you end up with a potential vulnerability that it is hard not to spot. Into this domestic arena of potential vulnerability, then, march the representatives of the omnipotent CPS.

The Norwegian welfare state is reputed to be working exceptionally well for the average Norwegian, including, admirably, families with strongly disabled children. Maternity and paternity leaves are generous and women’s position in Norwegian society is hard to match. These are achievements and exemplary arrangements that Norwegians are rightly proud of and taxpayers are happy (and can afford) to pay for.

There is a catch, however, since for modern nomads like myself, the Norwegian state, whenever it is encountered, is not only harder to negotiate but often founded on logic that it is hard to fathom. And not unlike the behaviour of the CPS in Stavanger, this incarnation of the state can be cold, beastly and more often than not, completely incompetent. Such are the rules and they are not unique. Every year, my retired father has to go to the local police station, document his income during the last 12 months, and write a financial guarantee so that he and my mother will have the opportunity to meet their Indo-Norwegian grandchildren. Indian authorities are decades ahead of their Norwegian counterparts when it comes to making life easier for multi-cultural families like ours.

These are issues that the average Norwegian barely reflects upon and may not even be aware of. Yet, it is against this background, which contrasts with the euphoria surrounding the Norwegian welfare state which is promoted, often with a missionary zeal, that the actions of the Child Protection Services in Stavanger belong and need to be examined.

INDIA, FAR AHEAD

As a member of an Indo-Norwegian household that on its way from Norway to India had a 10-year stopover in the U.K., for me there is no question about which of these three states suffers from the greatest disconnect to the modern world. This is not surprising. India with all its imperfections and unresolved challenges also with respect to child welfare is, because of its unique experience and history of nation-building, on the path to becoming a successful multicultural enterprise. Britain’s colonial history has had the fortunate side effect of nurturing bonds and cross-cultural understanding that have turned out to be a great asset in an increasingly interconnected world. Yet, even there the murder of the black teenager, Stephen Lawrence, in South London in April 1993 necessitated a reality check — a painful, introspective stop followed by the Macpherson inquiry. The verdict: the recognition that the Metropolitan Police Service was ‘institutionally’ racist.

There is something deeply offensive about the idea that the Child Protection Services in a town on the Norwegian west coast, unlikely to possess any knowledge about India at all, perceives itself the best judge of the interests of two small children of Indian parents. By commenting on eating and sleeping arrangements, the number of toys, whether the parents may have had an argument (and, yes, melodrama is a facet of Indian family life), the CPS has entered a territory where the prospects for reasoning are endless but the hope of arriving at normatively anchored conclusions, as some of my colleagues would put it, is converging on zero. Even more disturbing is the impression of the sense of superiority and parochial moral authority that permeates the handling of this case, echoing attitudes associated with darker, less civil and, one would have hoped, long bygone times.

Two families with small children arrive at Norway’s shores with aspirations, I imagine, of a better life. And how does one of the richest countries in the world treat them? It is hard to think of anything quite as despicable as the humiliation and de facto annihilation of two potentially vulnerable families we are witnessing here. Take a moment to reflect upon what the representatives of our state, the CPS and the courts have done to not only the Bhattacharyas and the Polish family but also our image of ourselves as citizens of a dignified, fair and generous society.

As in the landmark Stephen Lawrence case, there are enough hints of ugly undercurrents to suggest the need for a thorough reality check: an independentinquiry into the mandate and practices of the CPS (say, by Human Rights Watch), a recognition of the need for intense monitoring and scrutiny of the CPS including how cultural diversity in parenting practices and family support systems is respected and handled, the role of the police, the composition of the courts (note that in both these cases, the lower courts threw out the case suggesting there was nothing to answer) and so forth. There is, at the same time, a larger question of how Norway comes to terms with and catches up on developing public institutions that cater not only for pucca Norwegians but have in-built checks and balances that allow for a better handling of multiculturalism and can help to prevent tragedies like these.

(Vegard Iversen is Norwegian, and is a visiting scholar at Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University)

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CHILD WELFARE MODELS – CASE FOR UPHOLDING INTERNATIONAL ORDER AND CULTURAL SENSITISATION

White paper on an Indian expat family’s incident with Child Protection Agency in Norway

Issued by Abhigyan & Aishwarya Rescue Mission (AaRM)
Contact: Anurup Bhattacharya, aarescuemission@gmail.com, +47 40433302

The Barnevarnet (Child Protection Agency) in Stavanger, Norway has placed two minor Indian nationals under its protective custody after the lower court ruled in favour of The Barnevarnet’s proposal. The main outlines of the decision were:

  1. The two minor Indian children (boy born 12.10.08, girl born 04.12.10) shall stay in two separate Norwegian foster homes approved by the Barnevarnet until they reach 18 years of age; and
  2. The Indian parents shall have 1 hour meeting for one time in a period of 6 months – six months – with their children

This article, in brief,

  1. Explores the philosophical underpinnings of Child welfare (Philosophy);
  2. Questions the legitimacy with which the Barnevarnet has usurped custody of minor Indians

    (Legitimacy);

  3. Explores their rationale for deviating from the norm where Biological parents decide on the best

    course of action for their children (Barnevarnet’s Rationale); and

  4. Acknowledges the actions taken so far by various parties and further proposes more actions to the

    various Stakeholders (Recent Developments and Call for Action)

Philosophy

Barnevarnet’s philosophy appears to be guided by the belief that human beings, for healthy development, need: proper food, security and shelter, pretty much like sheep. For humans they further believe that one should add education and a dollop of vacation in the Mediterranean. If a child is at risk of being deprived of any of these elements then the State should seize custody of the child, eliminate the risk factor and provide for the goods.

Human beings do require all the things that sheep require. However what sets apart humans from sheep is: human beings are planted in cultural soil of a lineage of ancestors.

Human beings thrive on risk taking otherwise there would be no progress. One cannot choose his or her parents. The element of chance goes a step further; parental culture and resources shape the parental vision for their progeny which basically sets the context of an individual’s achievement and long term standing in life. We value and support parental discretion and choice in preparing productive members of the society. We value the diversity that such parental choice brings.

It is mandatory to intervene if there is a threat of child’s access to the sheep elements but the modus operandi of intervention should be strengthening of parental resources so that they can better exercise discretion and choice for their progeny. Social forces in India do not allow the State to intervene before Familial and Social mechanisms are exhausted.

Barnevarnet’s decision seriously fails on our philosophy and values as it:

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uproots two minor children from their cultural soil, where they stand to completely lose their Bengali language, bonding among siblings, cousins, kith & kin, religion, traditions, Indian food, parent’s professional and social network, and Indian Citizenship. The decision poisons the Indian minors’ cultural soil even before they have started to draw from it.

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 fails to promote parental discretion and choice and seeks to cast the children in a pre-meditated State’s (a State where the Indian minors are Alien, where they are not eligible for Citizenship, where the minors’ Parents do not enjoy franchise, where they would otherwise be illegal inhabitants after March 2012 ) conception of healthy individuals. The decision kills diversity that we greatly value.

Barnevarnet has fundamentally failed to first clearly appreciate and articulate the Best interest of these Indian minors alien to Barnevarnet’s country and culture.

Instead, in the garb of some psycho-babble canned argumentation, the Barnevarnet has moved ahead with its standardized processes, inappropriate interventions, brute force, arrogance of State authority and disrespect to the minors’ Citizenship and cultural milieu. We continue to explore the legitimacy of their action.

Legitimacy

Barnevarnet made the whole set of episodic observations by being present in the home of the parents. They gained entry in the pretext of providing ‘help’ to the parents with their minor boy, mother’s pregnancy and their situation in general. The ‘help’ was not offered through a written letter nor were the terms of this ‘help’ disclosed. It would be a reasonable expectation that the ‘help’ would be confined to solving the challenges being faced by family and personal data collected during such visitation would not be used for any other purpose. Given that, as we explore later in this article, there was very little ‘help’ on the aspects that the family faced problem, it appears to be only an excuse to clandestinely collect personal data to build a case for seizing custody. It amounts to blatant invasion of individual privacy and a State sponsored mechanism to influence and collect children (as per the data from SSB, Norway, almost one fifth of children born in Norway receive some form of child care measures). Barnevarnet fails to live up to the requirements set forth in Article 12 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation.”

The minors have been resident in Norway because of their Indian biological Father’s work. In normal circumstances they would be considered illegal immigrants if they were not to co-terminate their stay in Norway along with their Father’s stay. These children do not enjoy all the State privileges that Norwegian minor citizens enjoy either directly or indirectly in the form of State support to parents. How could a State award itself the right to decide on a transient skilled worker’s whole life based on a couple of years’ of Work visa? It is just imbalanced. How could a State have a policy of not offering citizenship (Norwegian) to such minor children of immigrant workers and yet make decisions that impact their whole life? By sending the children of immigrant worker parent to a foster home for eighteen years is almost like tethering the immigrant to stay inside Norway for those eighteen years. It amounts to a gross violation of Article 13(2) of UNDHR which provides that “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country”.

The minors have not only been taken away and placed in foster homes but also the parents are allowed only to have two meetings a year of 1 hour each. Article 26 (3) of UNDHR asserts that “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” Could Barnevarnet explain how do the parents get to exercise their right in two meetings a year? A great deal of education happens in the course of family spending time together, extended family meeting and children getting to know their parents’ networks. The parents are well educated, by any global standards, themselves and fully capable of guiding their children.

In such a circumstance it appears a little dubious – why should the Norwegian State not first exhaust the possibilities of deporting the Minors if their alien temporarily resident (for work) parents fail to follow the law of the land of providing adequate support and care to the Minors? If the parents fail, the minors are responsibility of the country they are citizens of i.e. India in this case. Albeit population growth rate in

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Norway is low and there is dearth of new trained work force specially hailing from minority communities, this does not seem to be an honourable way of meeting that end. Mind you, the minors are not asylum seekers or refugees from a war torn country.

Indeed some Norwegian State resources have been spent on the case in the form of various ‘interventions’ and preparing the court suite. Does that resource spend create a title on the minors in favour of the Norwegian State? The resources come from tax payers’ money and the minors’ father has already contributed towards it. Article 16 (3) of UNDHR states: “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State”. It is therefore paramount that any State should do all that is within its means to preserve Families and not break them while they formulate child welfare mechanisms. The matter does not even seem to be in the radar of considerations with which Barnevarnet contrives its mechanisms.

Alien minors with incapable parents are almost similar to minors without parents. No body owns children in the sense of the property like real estate but they still are a property in the sense that they provide a responsibility to the responsibility holder, they provide joy and they are future contributors to the country and society. What does pocketing somebody’s lost wallet amount to? If we find someone’s abandoned property, pet or child then the usual legal and civic expectation would be that the finder makes some effort to contact the owner and return the property. If the owner is incapable then property is returned to the next in kith and kin. This is what we do and what we would teach our children. This is our value. What value does Barnevarnet espouse through its action?

Article 25 (2) of UNDHR states: “Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.” As we explore later in this article by providing completely irrelevant and inadequate assistance Barnevarnet strips an innocent Mother of her motherhood and strips the children of their natural family.

Articles 5 and 8 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) lay emphasis on the need for prospecting the child’s roots, identity, nationality, and family relations. Precedents within Norwegian common law also provide for placing the children with the next of their kith & kin when parents fail in their parental duties. Barnevarnet has not commented on the measures it took to prospecting such rights as envisaged in the CRC.

Article 20(3) of the CRC further stipulates that when considering solutions (for alternative child care), due regard shall be paid to the desirability of continuity in a child’s upbringing and to the child’s ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic background.

In our opinion Barnevarnet has been legitimate in its action in so far as identifying an impending child development crisis (in its opinion) and moving the court but it has transgressed the legitimacy by not keeping either of the following as an option:

  •   offering the parents to make suitable arrangements for the minors outside Norway;
  •   offering the parents to leave the country with their minors;
  •   offering custody of the children to the next of kith and kin;
  •   offering custody to an Indian government / non-government organization specializing in child

    welfare; or

  •   offering custody to Government of India.

    Barnevarnet’s zeal in adhering to its contrived solution of Norwegian foster homes for Indian children just does not smell right. It even appears counter-intuitive if the objective is children’s best interest.

    Barnevarnet’s Rationale

    Irrelevant criteria

    Barnevarnet start with their exposition on the pretext of seeking custody of the children by discussing ‘Family circumstances’. They make a note that the family does not speak Norwegian and have little network

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outside the home. It is difficult to understand the relevance of speaking Norwegian to the case. Stavanger primarily thrives on the international community that is contributing to Norway’s Oil & Gas industry. The place is full of expat professionals who do not speak Norwegian, are here to stay for a couple of years and then move on to their next destination wherever work takes them. If knowledge of Norwegian is key to bringing up foreigner children in Norway then that should be a condition of granting the Work visa. Further they make a note that the family has limited social network (implying local social network) Naturally a foreigner skilled worker’s social network would be limited – this is true of these expat parents as much as it is true of thousands of other expats. They fail to recognize that we are today living in an internetworked world and the social network that the couple is in touch with over the Norwegian borders. Barnevarnet making a note of these aspects reveals that not only it is misguided about the variables it places importance on but its vision is also rather parochial.

Context

The context, within which the episodes unfolded, that finally lead Barnevarnet to mistakenly conclude that they should seize custody of the minors, has a special relevance to appreciating this case. The whole series of episodes transpired between Nov 2010 and May 2011. The mother delivered the minor girl in December 2010 and by the time the baby girl was 5 months old, still on mother’s breast, she and her 2.5 years old brother had been taken away by the Barnevarnet. Pregnancy is a tough time for any woman. Even simple googling would reveal the complexities of pre-natal and post-natal depressions and their impact on a woman’s ability to function and behave normally. It is understandable if a lay person who is witnessing pregnancy for the first time is ignorant about this but better knowledge is expected from an agency that has been appointed saviour almighty of all the children by State. We later see that the Barnevarnet seems absent-minded to this crucial pillar of the context.

One more aspect that has been key to the whole saga relates to the development needs of the minor boy. People (parents, medical community, Barnevarnet, kindergarten) agree that he has special needs but when one asks the question – why – the medical fraternity still leaves it unanswered. There is only speculation about the reasons that lead to his condition. For the sake of simplicity we could term it as Quasi-Autism. Whereas the Barnevarnet is cognizant of the minor boy’s condition, they expect an unreasonable level of understanding from parents in their description of the condition and in their ability to meet the demands of the situation that boy creates as a result of his Quasi-Autism.

According to Barnevarnet parents have described the boy’s behaviour as ‘stubborn’, ‘naughty’, ‘disobedient’ and ‘arrogant’. It is expected that people who are not trained in the science of Autism or similar conditions would only describe what they experience. They would not say – ‘our boy displays characteristics similar to a from Asperger syndrome’. It is difficult to understand why Barnevarnet expected a Geophysicist and an Administration professional to not only to be able to understand, and explain what medical fraternity has not been able to explain but also to be able to react to in a professional manner.

Pretext

Barnevarnet in their pretext fundamentally paint mother as a person with low intelligence who has poor ability to ‘mentalize’. This is an irresponsible portrayal of pregnancy related depression. The psychologists who have examined the mother do not think that the mother suffers from any debilitating mental condition. One expects more responsibility in use of clinical terms while describing people from an agency like Barnevarnet. It amounts to harassment and persona assassination apparently to fulfil one’s own single- minded motivation. Barnevarnet do not provide a reference to what tool they used to measure her level of mentalization capability. They attribute this low ability to ‘mentalize’ as the cause of Mother’s disorganized manner of meeting her children’s needs.

Barnevarnet are a little more generous in ascribing intelligence to father, they say father has a greater capability of ‘mentalization’ than mother (and probably lower than the Barnevarnet’s observer?). However they add a pinch of salt: they state that father neither has the time nor the tools with which he could

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compensate for mother’s incompetence. They agree that the father has a greater ability to relate with the boy that meets their expectations. It is true that the father has been stressed for time being the sole bread earner and being a foreigner skilled worker. Foreigners do not enjoy the State sanctioned privileges that Norwegian citizens enjoy to create more time to provide a helping hand at home.

‘Help’?

It does not require an expert to decipher the aspects on which the family circumstances warranted help. A couple that is parents to two small children fundamentally needs more hands. They need someone who can cook for them, clean for them, baby sit for them, shop groceries for them etc. In the case of this family they also needed help with understanding their boy’s special needs. When work load is manageable people have manageable stress and they perform with their optimal intelligence and skill, when work load is unmanageable people fumble and behave awkwardly. Barnevarnet did not provide help on any of the aspects identified above. Instead what they provided can at best be described as policing and turning the family into observation objects.

Barnevarnet’s help – termed Initiatives by them – was i) Marte Meo measures for enhancing mother new born daughter engagement; ii) Morning routines; and iii) Evening routines. Of these three Evening routines were never implemented because the custody was seized before the time for envisaged Evening routines was reached.

Marte Meo is a jargon for video recording events and viewing them again. The methodology is used widely but its effectiveness has not been researched adequately. One could ask the question: How much analytical re-viewing a mother who has just come out of pregnancy can do?

The morning routines basically amounted to Barnevarnet advisor and observer directing depressed and pregnancy weakened mother to follow a military precision schedule. Get up at this time, feed at this time, reach kindergarten at this time etc. They have been totally blind to the resources that were at the disposal of mother at that time. When all she needed was a helping hand who could clean for her or dress up the boy for kindergarten while she breast fed the girl, she received advice, glares, and disapproval. A simple review of motivation and individual performance theory would tell us that it is no surprise that the object of observation – mother – fumbled and erred in the policing glare of Barnevarnet. The mother tried to avert the ‘advice’ but Barnevarnet either did not understand even the overt cues or were not equipped to provide the nature of help that the mother really needed. Instead in mother’s words they took a personal disliking to her.

The evidence

Barnevarnet allege that mother has a disorganized demeanour. Their allegation relates to her feeding, her safety measures for her daughter while changing nappies and the manner of providing attention to her children. Given that none of the events were disastrous – her conduct could at worst only be termed as fumbling, further given that the mother was not in the best of her health and the fact that she had someone constantly breathing down her neck, the evidence Barnevarnet provide has no validity. Their assertion that the mother has failed to carry out their advice has no meaning given that they did not equip her with resources to carry out that advice.

Another ludicrous evidence that Barnevarnet provide mentions that the minor daughter looks at other people’s faces in presence of mother. Norwegians are stereotyped to be cold in the way they receive other people. Eastern cultures on the other hand are stereotyped to be more gregarious – people from such cultures seek contact. Probably some of that is related to the minor girl’s genetic constitution?

Barnevarnet express concern over 2.5 year old boy sleeping with his father and the fact that the parents had not bought a separate bed for him. This observation points to Barnevarnet’s ignorance and closeness towards other cultures. 2.5 year old boy sleeping with his father is very very normal in many cultures outside Norway. In fact even in modern western parenting literature co-sleeping is advised as a form of

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bonding. In countries like India children up to 7 – 8 years could continue to sleep with a parent, grand- parent, uncle or aunt. Buying a bed was never a problem for the parents, they just did not want to give up their cultural tradition. Even if they were not able to afford a bed, it does not become a cause for action because even resource poor parents have the right to bring up their own children. You could offer a bed to them but they may decline to accept your ‘help’.

They also express concern that the family did not have enough space in the living room and enough toys for the boys and then they mention though the situation improved later. Whether they had enough space or toys is an irrelevant criterion for seeking custody of the children. Children grow up in the space and resources that their parents have and have the vision to provide to their children. Sometimes parents do have the resources but just do not have the foresight to make them available in the right format. If one is on friendly terms one could suggest how parents could change the format of their resources but no one likes to listen to such suggestions from a policing body.

Barnevarnet refer to some instances of shouting and loud discussions among parents and suspected violence on the boy by mother. Loudness is a relative idea. Scandinavia in general is quieter than the busy streets of Kolkata and it’s difficult to be discreet when one is stressed. The suspicion of violence fails to account for need for temporary threat of restraining force while dealing with children. The mother admits to showing boy her slap but maintains that she has not hit him.

Barnevarnet provide another evidence where mother force feeds the minor boy and without explaining what food is all about to the boy. May be mother could have done it differently, we don’t know but it’s a general tendency among some parents to force feed their children and as we mentioned earlier not everyone is a stage artist who can provide a demonstration of ideal toddler feeding to observers.

Barnevarnet refer to interaction between the minor boy and her mother and state that she was rejected by the boy at several instances. They also state that their interaction was better at some instances. Given that mother had just given birth to a girl, one cannot ignore the possible contribution of sibling jealousy in causing boy’s behaviour. It is natural that the mother cannot provide the same level of care with a new child in her lap to the older boy.

Information withheld

The Barnevarnet is totally oblivious to the stress its demands on and pestering of the parents for meetings and routines caused. They do not state how readily the couple went through the interventions with them. Infact the parents state that the Barnevarnet’s team were arrogantly insistent and callous of parent’s time commitments on any activity but meeting Barnevarnet when they wanted and where they wanted.

Barnevarnet talks about poor emotional connect between minor boy and mother but are silent about the various videos and photographs that show the family in a different light.

Barnevarnet is disturbingly silent about the fact that they interviewed the children’s paternal and maternal grandparents, who had come down to Norway from India for taking over the responsibility of the minors. They do not disclose why they did not consider placing the children with the grandparents as an option. After all it is the same grandparents who have produced a Geophysicist that is contributing to Norwegian economy. Even within the confines of Norwegian Law there are precedents that allow for placing custody with Grand Parents in case Parents are unfit.

Barnevarnet’s performance

May be Barnevarnet has done some good to Norwegian society by placing numerous children in foster homes. There is no concluded evidence that these children have as a result fared better generally in life. Befring (2004) reported that it may be estimated that almost one third of the children under care faced some form of sexual exploitation. Clausen and Kristofersen (2008) have found that young Norwegian adults

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from care background (both foster homes and residential care) have severe problems after the transition to adult life.

What kind of questions and complexities these children, who get placed in the foster homes, could be facing internally within them is probably answered even by someone with Psychology 101 knowledge. Children of the German soldier fathers and Norwegian mothers born during the period of German occupation of Norway during 1940 – 45 are still general denigrated by some as tyskerunger.

Norway considered exporting about 8000 such children after the German occupation was over. A large number of tyskerungers suffered many years of abuse , sexual exploitation , compulsory psychiatric treatment and forced adoptions , which has driven many to suicide. This information is gratis from Wikipedia. Where was Barnevarnet?

NRK a leading channel in Norway reports about Barnevarnet’s organization of a clandestine operation: smuggling back a Turkish child placed in a Norwegian foster home. The child had been sent to a vacation with his foster parents to Turkey. While in Turkey the Turkish court had issued an order placing a ban on exit of the child. Barnevarnet then sponsored a multi-million Kroner operation to smuggle the child back. Leave aside the legal and ethical aspects of the matter, the operation was apparently kept secret even from the Norwegian Ministry of External Affairs. The Barnevarnet appear to be first among equals.

How children fare in life is to a certain degree a matter of chance. Barnevarnet does not seem to enhance those chances at least for many of them. We could grant good intentions to Barnevarnet but something in their philosophy and structure seems to be defeating the purpose. Fact of the matter is any system is prone to errors of wrong inclusion and exclusion. Moreover it is also extremely difficult to simulate the organic bonding and love that families are able to create outside in an ‘all expenses paid for’ type of commercial environment. Therefore one needs extreme caution and a credible alternative before disturbing a family. If the odds that you create for the children are not going to be any better than what they currently have, leave them to their chance in life.

Bringing up children is a job of love; the Norwegian system is fuelling it on their riches. Every foster family is paid half a million Kroners for one foster child, child maintenance and vacations to the Mediterranean. The whole ‘industry’ is supported by child care workers, lawyers, judges, kindergarten workers, health station workers, and psychologists. Without the intention of discounting the good work done by majority of them it’s not unwise to at least suspect a nexus of vested interests that such a system could foster.

It is no surprise that simple googling exposes strifes Barnevarnet has landed itself into with numerous countries – Poland, Russia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, etc. Why does a country that has otherwise strict immigration norms show such eagerness to take over custody of foreigner children? Why not just send them back? Should we understand that the actions are genuinely driven by an innate desire to be a good son of God? What message does one draw? To do a noble deed and help someone in need? What do we say to the hapless voyager who may get trapped in a snow storm near the North Pole? Leave the kids back home, dear? According to a 2011 report by the Norwegian Statistic Central Bureau, children from immigrant parents have a three-time greater likelihood of being removed from their homes than other children. How many immigrant families have been enrolled as foster families?

Barnevarnet suggests that the minor children appear content in their foster homes and are developing well. Who can test the veracity of their claim? Instead, we should also ask if externally perceived contentment of

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infants and toddlers is a valid predictor of their life-long standing. Children everywhere are content without the bitter medicine. Are they developing because of Barnevarnet? Or with time, when things would have become easier for parents, they would have developed irrespective of Barnevarnet? They have already lost their language, their religion, their food, acquaintance of their loved ones, so whose metrics of development are they climbing?

Recent Developments and Call for Action

The case of hapless Minors has received overwhelming coverage in the Indian media. People are astonished; they are outraged that someone could even think of taking such an action. There have been street protests in Kolkata and almost all leading Indian newspapers and TV channels have covered the incident. The UN shares this astonishment. As reported in NDTV, a 2005 UN report criticised Norway for the number of children that the State placed in foster homes, disrupting organic family structures.

The case has also received coverage in Norwegian media, where Barnevarnet’s insensitivity and whimsical interpretation of laws has been criticised. Understandably the coverage has not been as wide as in the Indian media. There was a Polish case, a Russian case, a Turkish case and now an Indian case. It’s business as usual.

Government of India has woken up after a long time. The children were moved to foster care in May 2011. Understandably no one wants to cause a raucous in diplomatic circles over trifles. However earlier low- profile attempts by India were completely cold shouldered by Norwegian authorities. Then, the President sensitised the Government and the Indian Minister of External Affairs has had conversation with his counterpart.

As per latest reports in Media, press release, Barnevarnet Stavanger has called, foster-care ruling grounds explained by Indian parents to the media, as bluffs. Instead Barnevarnet assert a serious case of neglect. Our independent analyses, of Barnevarnet’s allegation document as presented in this article earlier, offers a different conclusion. It is not true that there is no mention of feeding habits or sleeping arrangements in the allegation document. It is true that the variables that have been chosen to present in allegation document provide a means to infer possible prejudices. It is also true that some clinical terms and canned psychology has been used insincerely and in gross violation of human rights.

Finally, on 25th January 2012, Barnevarnet has given indications that they would be willing to offer custody to the children’s Uncle. There are talks about a tripartite agreement between Norway, India and the Indian expat couple. It is hoped that this episode will come to an end soon. However, as we discuss next, the issue remains far from being solved.

UN

There is a clear deficit between the text and context of CRC. The CRC by itself has not resulted in protection of the rights of the Child in all situations. There is a need to recognize the complexities of rapidly globalizing world and enhancing appreciation, respect and tolerance of diversity that Earth houses. Actions well within the borders of countries have oversees implications. While it is natural that, law of any land should draw from the typicality of its socio-eco-cultural milieu, it should not be inflexible to accommodate variety.

CRC leaves the phrase ‘Best interest of the child’ rather loosely defined and vulnerable to finicky interpretation. It may be close to impossible to define best interest for the numerous typicalities that every

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child-neglect case brings to fore but at least the case of ‘minors of immigrant workers’ does not sound to be that unique.

In fact, CRC in its 53rd session (11-29 January 2010) concludes for Norway “The Committee is nevertheless concerned that the principle of primary consideration of the best interests of the child is not yet applied in all areas affecting children, such as child custody cases and immigration cases…” Barnevarnet’s declared plan of possibly applying for the children’s residence permit on Humanitarian Grounds, seems to be a live reflection of the CRC’s concern. In fact such a move would be equivalent to declaring India as a country not fit to offer protection to its minor citizens.

Barnevarnet

Barnevarnet should first articulate the Best interest of minors of temporary immigrant skilled worker parents. This articulation should be sensitive to the fact that temporary immigrant children come from cultural milieus that are as far as India is from Norway. This articulation should provide references to UNDHR and UNCRC and show how they intend to uphold the provisions enshrined therein.

Once they have identified and made this articulation public, they should propose the steps that they would adopt in such cases for now and in future. Forcing alien minors, who are in country temporarily because of their guardian’s work, to Norwegian foster homes is opportunistic at its best and loot at its worst interpretation.

Eventually they should either seek contact with the children’s kith and kin, or Foreign government / non- government agencies to transfer custody of the children to people who can bring up children in their cultural milieu.

NGOs

NGOs that concern themselves with child welfare should write to Barnevarnet explaining what they think about their action and how they would have tackled the issue instead. They could seek cooperative relationship with the Barnevarnet and other such agencies and exchange information on philosophy, mechanisms and styles that they deploy in such scenarios.

Norway

State of Norway or an appropriate agency of the State should take suo moto cognizance of the present matter and contact India to make arrangements to deport her children from Norwegian soil.

Further they should really introspect the philosophy behind the whole program. Why is there an overrepresentation of Nordic countries in controversies surrounding child welfare issues? How powerful can a state agency be allowed to be, where does its accountabilities lie? Whose interests are they really serving? Is there a reason to smell a possible nexus?

India

India has taken initiative to contact Norway and seek a solution to this issue for this time. While in some earlier contacts with Norway in this case India used language such as ‘kindly look into the matter sympathetically’, for India the issue is not really that of asking for ‘sympathy’. For India the issue simply should have been to ask for return of her minor Citizens.

What out of court settlement is being reached remains to be seen. There are rumors that the Norway agency might have the rights to inspect welfare of children in India. India should not end up in any agreement that undermines her sovereignty to decide for and be responsible for her Citizens.

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Once this episode is settled, they should go a step further and seek a cooperative exchange on administrative software on dealing with such issues. They should bilaterally establish a protocol for such cases in future. With the number of Indian human resources enriching foreign lands, it is time India protects its interests on this front too. Hopefully the work with Norway would not be needed in other jurisdictions but it would provide a ready blue print, if need be.

They should closely follow the case and expect a time-bound, in a month or two, resolution to the matter. They should forewarn Norway about any attempts by the Barnevarnet to extend the stay of minors in Norway on ‘humanitarian grounds’.

International Parental Child Abduction from the U.S.: Reuniting with your child


Source: divorcelawyerconnecticut

Reuniting with Your Child

Reuniting with your child can be a powerful and emotional event, especially if the reunification takes place after a prolonged period of time. You and your child will no doubt be experiencing a wide range of emotions around this important occasion. Your case officer can provide you advice about reunification, and can help coordinateU.S.and foreign government authorities’ involvement.

 

Reunification Resources

  • Reunification Funds – The financial costs of reunification to left-behind parents can be substantial. The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has established a fund called The Federal Crime Victim Assistance Fund. When no other resources are available, this fund has at times been used to assist left-behind parents with travel costs associated with reunification. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children administers the OVC funds for left-behind parents. To learn about whether you might qualify for such assistance, contact your case officer.

Reunification Counselors– Many left-behind parents find it helpful to use the services of a reunification counselor to help guide them through the process. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children maintains a list of reunification counselors. If you think you might benefit from their assistance, ask NCMEC to put you in touch with one of these experts.

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“Please don’t forget that you have two parents”


Source: Phillyburbs.com

Last week Max Troitsky celebrated his daughter’s second birthday with a cake, candles and an empty chair at the table.

Little Julie Troitsky remains somewhere in Russia with her mother, Troitsky’s estranged wife, Anna, who disappeared with their child a few days before Thanksgiving in violation of a child custody order.

In recent weeks, Max Troitsky learned that Anna has filed for divorce in Russia, a move Troitsky’s lawyer suspects is an attempt to establish jurisdiction there for a custody action. In court paperwork, she indicated that she did not know Max’s whereabouts, Troitsky said.

Meanwhile, in Bucks County — where the couple’s divorce proceedings were under way — a judge earlier this month froze all assets in his wife’s name and gave Max Troitsky the legal ability to move and dispose of some marital assets. A judge already awarded Max Troitsky full physical and legal custody of Julie after Anna defied a court order in December to return to the United States.

But it remains to be seen how Russian authorities will handle the existing U.S. custody order. Troitsky and his attorney do not anticipate a quick resolution.

“She has committed no crime in Russia, and the U.S. Embassy has no authority on Russian soil,” Troitsky’s laywer Jeffrey Liebmann said. “It is a real nightmare.”

Troitsky, who divides time between Bensalem and Upper Southampton homes, recently went public with the case, anticipated to be one of Russia’s first tests under the Hague Abduction Convention, which dictates civil aspects of international child abduction.

n October, Russia joined the convention as a partner country, meaning it will honor civil verdicts, such as child custody orders, issued by foreign courts, and return children abducted by a parent.

For now, though, Russian authorities are not under any obligation to assist with enforcing custody orders until it establishes a central authority to oversee compliance with the Hague Convention, Liebmann said.

There also is some skepticism whether Russian courts will comply. Other convention nations, such as Brazil, Chile and Mexico, don’t routinely follow convention provisions.

Russia’s judiciary has a “less than perfect record” for independence and impartiality, and a recent report suggests that judges are open to bribes and other external influences, according to the McGill University blog, “Legal Frontiers.”

The Troitskys, Russian natives and U.S. citizens, were in the process of divorcing following five years of marriage. After the couple separated, Anna, Julie and Anna’s mother, Elena Demyanyuk, continued to live in the family’s Upper Southampton home.

As the divorce and custody cases proceeded, Anna filed a petition seeking court permission to relocate to Moscow, Russia, or Denver, Colo., where her brother lives. In mid-November, a Bucks County judge granted the couple shared legal custody of Julie and denied Anna’s request to relocate to either place.

 

Four days after the final custody order was issued, Anna, Julie and Demyanyuk left the United States without his knowledge or permission, in violation of their custody order, Troitsky said.

Troitsky learned about the divorce filing in Russia from a legal representative he hired in that country. But the proceedings there were continued for a month.

In Russia, couples are first divorced, and everything else, including division of assets and child custody, is handled after that.

Troitsky says he plans to go to Russia once the custody case is under way, which he anticipates could begin in the next six months. At a minimum, he hopes the Russian courts will give him access to his daughter either by Skype, phone or visitation.

Troitsky last spoke to Julie via Skype Nov. 26. In early December, Anna stopped contact. Troitsky said he continues to email her but gets no response.

Last week, Troitsky and his family celebrated Julie’s birthday, something he plans to continue doing until she comes home. He also posted a letter to her on the website he created to bring attention to his custody situation (www.helpbringjuliehome.com).

“While I would do anything to celebrate this important milestone with you in person, sadly, circumstances don’t allow us to celebrate together,” he wrote. “However, on this special day, I want to wish you nothing but laughter, love and happiness in your life! Please don’t forget that you have two parents, and that we both love you, each in our own way.”

Max Troitsky’s letter to his daughter Julie

Dear Julie

Happy birthday, sweetheart! Today you turn 2 years old. While I would do anything to celebrate this important milestone with you in person, sadly, circumstances don’t allow us to celebrate together. However, on this special day, I want to wish you nothing but laughter, love and happiness in your life! Please don’t forget that you have TWO parents, and that we both love you, each in our own way.

As I look back at the last two years, it feels like just two days ago your mom and I brought you home from the hospital, and just yesterday we celebrated your 1st birthday, when you blew out your first candle from your high chair. As you are a year older now, and better able to understand the significance of this day, don’t forget to make a wish before you blow out the candles. If you wish hard enough, your wish will come true!

As you celebrate your birthday with your family in Russia, please remember that you also have a family in the U.S., who loves you and misses you dearly. Because you cannot be here with us, for this important day, your grandparents and I will have to celebrate your birthday without you. We also invited your big teddy bear and your nap-pal Ladybug to join us in singing a happy birthday song for you. They’ve both been asking me about you and wondering when Julie will come home. I wish I had a good answer for them… I just keep telling them that Julie will be back soon, and they understand. In the meantime, they are patiently waiting for you, along with all of your other toys and books.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 73 days since we were separated from each other on November 20, but please know that I am doing everything in my power to fix this and bring you home soon. I also think of you every day… many times a day… and it hurts to know that you’re so far away! But I have faith, and I know in my heart that we will be reunited!

I love you and miss you terribly,

Daddy

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Japan: Foreign minister to take charge of locating kids in international custody rows


Source: The Mainichi Daily News

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan’s foreign minister will be responsible for collecting information on children abducted to the country by one of their parents in determining their whereabouts and settling cross-border custody disputes as a result of failed international marriages, according to newly compiled guidelines made available to Kyodo News on Sunday.

The guidelines compiled by the Foreign Ministry in preparation for Tokyo’s accession to an international treaty that sets procedures for the settlement of international child custody disputes state that the foreign minister can seek the help of local governments, police, schools, childcare facilities and shelters for abused people to determine the whereabouts of children in such cases.

The government is aiming to submit a bill to parliament in March to endorse the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and have it enacted during the 150-day regular parliamentary session to be convened Tuesday.

The bill will state that a central authority will be established at the Foreign Ministry to locate children wrongfully removed or retained by one parent and secure their voluntary return in response to requests made by the other parent, according to government officials.

The guidelines state that those requested by the foreign minister to provide information on abducted children will be required to do so “without any delay.”

The foreign minister could also inform parents abroad and their former spouses who have abducted children to Japan about the system of mediation by Japanese courts as a way to resolve their disputes, according to the guidelines.

The planned submission of the bill to endorse the Hague Convention based on the ministry’s guidelines is in line with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s pledge to U.S. President Barack Obama during their talks in November. Around 10 countries including the United States have been pressing Japan to join the treaty.

Japan is the only member of the Group of Eight major countries yet to join the convention after Russia acceded to it in July. At present, 87 countries are parties to the treaty, which came into effect in 1983.

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Raising Awareness of Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting


Source: Parental alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO)

This is Parental Alienation ( PAS)

Did You Know That…
Parental Alienation is a form of Child Abuse? 

Parental alienation (or Hostile Aggressive Parenting) is a group of behaviors that are damaging to children’s mental and emotional well-being, and can interfere with a relationship of a child and either parent. These behaviors most often accompany high conflict marriages, separation or divorce.

These behaviors whether verbal or non-verbal, cause a child to be mentally manipulated or bullied into believing a loving parent is the cause of all their problems, and/or the enemy, to be feared, hated, disrespected and/or avoided.

Parental alienation and hostile aggressive parenting deprive children of their right to be loved by and showing love for both of their parents. The destructive actions by an alienating parent or other third person (like another family member, or even a well meaning mental health care worker) can become abusive to the child – as the alienating behaviors are disturbing, confusing and often frightening, to the child, and can rob the child of their sense of security and safety leading to maladaptive emotional or psychiatric reactions.

Most people do not know about Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting until they experience it. Parental Alienation Awareness is put forth to help raise awareness about the growth in the problem of targeting children and their relationship in healthy and loving parent/child bond.

You can also find more information about parental alienation here: A Family`s Heartbreak

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International Parental Child Abduction : Fathers pay price when mothers take children


Source: Irish Times – Irishtimes.com

JOHN WATERS

DESPITE ONE-THIRD of births occurring in non-marital relationships, unmarried Irish fathers remain deeply ignorant of their legal situation.

Under Irish law, such fathers have no automatic right to the day-to-day care of their children (“custody”) or to a say in the upbringing of their children (“guardianship”). What they have is the right to apply to a court, which may then extend rights of guardianship and custody according to the nature of the relationship between the child and the father, a matter almost invariably dictated by the attitude and behaviour of the gatekeeper-mother.

Although mischievous agents propose that the high numbers of Irish unmarried fathers neglecting to apply for guardianship is evidence of indifference, the fact is that many fathers, reluctant to initiate legal proceedings that might create a conflict where none exists, tend to leave well alone.

This leads to extreme difficulties when mothers abduct children to other jurisdictions and fathers find themselves bereft of legal standing.

Almost all European countries now make legal provision for the concept of the “de facto family” – which extends legal recognition in situations in which unmarried parents and their children have lived together in quasi-marital situations. This can enable an unmarried father who has no formal guardianship order to invoke the Hague Convention in the event that his child is abducted. Irish law is noticeably out of step in the recognition of such “inchoate rights”.

The man in the street may attribute this circumstance to oversight. Alas, it arises from the ideological outlook of the Irish State, which is determined to withhold from unmarried fathers anything but the most minimal recognition forced upon it by international law.

The lay person, too, might surmise that, all things being equal, the objective of the Irish State will always be to strive towards just and equitable resolutions, subject only to whatever legal impediments may arise.

Alas, in abduction situations where the abductor is the mother, such an assumption would be mistaken.

In fact, the pattern of behaviour by the Irish central authority in these matters – ie the Department of Justice – is to turn its back on fathers whose children have been abducted, even when the destination country is reluctant to accept jurisdiction.

This policy became clear over the past 18 months, in a case arising from the refusal of a mother to bring her two children back to Ireland after a summer holiday in New York. For six years the father had lived in Ireland with his children, in virtually every respect as though married to the mother. In August 2010, the mother told him she and their two children would remain in New York, where she was moving in with a man she had met on Facebook.

The children had been born in New York, which meant that the father was their legal guardian under US law. He had the right to apply to a New York court, but felt that to do so would be to acquiesce in what had happened.

He wished to have the matter adjudicated in Ireland, where his children had lived almost all their lives. He approached the Department of Justice but was told that, since he did not have guardianship here, there was no legal recourse under the Hague Convention.

Proceedings were initiated in New York by the mother, while the father began seeking guardianship under Irish law. In November 2010, he was granted a guardianship order. Because this application was initiated within a statutory six-month period stipulated by New York law – in effect confirming the children were for legal purposes still habitually resident in Ireland – and since the father continued to reside here, the New York court ruled that the case should be determined by the Irish courts.

All that was required was for an Irish court to issue a temporary custody order in favour of the father, and the New York court could have ordered the return of the children here.

The next step was to persuade the Irish court to do the decent thing. Three hearings, in August, October and November 2011, were adjourned in turn because the judge was away. Although it was implicit in the New York decision that, by issuing a guardianship order, the Irish court had already accepted jurisdiction, the Irish judge refused to communicate with his counterpart in New York.

Instead, in the end, he wrote to the New York court handing over jurisdiction, unwittingly confirming that, contrary to the assertions of the Department of Justice, the Irish court already had jurisdiction. Thus, in December, this Irish father was forced to surrender to the jurisdiction of an American court.

These Irish proceedings, involving 12 court appearances and nine different judges over 15 months, cost this father more than €20,000.

For years I have been meeting men like this, trying to help them deal with the inscrutable processes that “legal advice” forbids me from describing in the only terms I can adequately and reasonably describe them.

I observe with dismay that things are growing worse, not just in the treatment of such men and their children, but even more ominously in the studied avoidance of these matters by other journalists who make much of calling authority to account except here, where the sleep of justice is more implacable than anywhere else.

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Midt-Østen: Sjansen for å få tilbake ungen sin ved bruk av rettslige prosesser er lik null


Kilde: Nettavisen.no

Norsk seksåring er bortført til Libya. Politiet står på bar bakke og har ikke klart å oppnå kontakt med barnets far.

Nettavisen skrev 23. desember omKristel Jektvik (42) som frykter at sønnen (6) er bortført av sin far.

– Han skulle i utgangspunktet blitt overlevert til meg 19. desember, men dukket aldri opp. Avtalen var at sønnen vår skulle feire jul med meg og nyttårsaften med faren sin. Nå tyder mye på at han har bortført barnet vårt til utlandet, sa hun til Nettavisen.

Barnefaren er siktet for overtredelse av straffelovens paragraf 216, for å holde en umyndig person borte fra sin omsorgsperson.

– Vi har fortsatt ikke vært i kontakt med far, men sitter med informasjon som tilsier at han er i Libya, sier politiadvokat Siv Remen.

Oppholder seg i Libya
Politiet har tidligere bekreftet at de via elektroniske spor har avslørt at barnefaren befinner seg i utlandet, men har vært usikre på hvilket land det er snakk om.

Torsdag 5. januar bekrefter politiadvokat Siv Remen i Midtre Hålogaland politidistrikt overfor Nettavisen at barnefaren (28) befinner seg i Libya.

– Status er at barnet er borte. Vi har fortsatt ikke vært i kontakt med far, men sitter med informasjon som tilsier at han er i Libya. Kripos og Interpol er koblet inn, sier hun til Nettavisen.

Remen forteller at de har løpende kontakt med moren, via hennes advokat.

– Vi forsøker å komme i kontakt med faren og vil i tiden fremover prøve å avklare nærmere oppholdssted og lokalisere barnet. Vi har foreløpig fått inn få tips i saken og ønsker at personer som sitter med opplysninger kontakter politiet, sier hun.

Avhengig av medisin
Kristel Jektvik forteller at de tre siste ukene har vært svært tunge.

– Jeg vet at sønnen min er i Libya, men ikke hvor i landet han befinner seg. Situasjonen tærer på kroppen, men jeg forsøker å være sterk. Det som bekymrer meg mest er at han trenger reseptbelagt medisin for at kroppen skal fungere som normalt, sier hun.

Jektvik håper at barnefaren i beste fall har stukket av gårde med sønnen på en ulovlig ferie. Likevel tror hun realiteten fortoner seg annerledes.

– Han har ved tidligere anledninger truet med å forlate landet sammen med sønnen vår. Nå kan jeg ikke gjøre annet enn å ta en dag av gangen og be for at politiet klarer å løse saken. Jeg gråter hver dag, tenner lys og ber for at han er trygg, sier hun.

– Dårlige odds
Martin Waage, sjef i sikkerhetsselskapet ABP World Group, forteller de fleste barnebortføringer fra Norge til utlandet utføres av mødre. Likevel; i saker der fedre bortfører barnet sitt er land fra den arabiske verden og Nord-Afrika overrepresentert.

– Etter regimeskiftene i den arabiske verden opplever vi en økende frykt blant mødre som er gift med menn fra disse områdene. Vil vil komme til å se en økning med langt flere barnebortføringer til disse landene, sier han.

Waage mener vanskelighetsgraden for å få ut et bortført barn ved bruk av rettslige prosesser i disse landene er ekstremt høy.

– Disse landene er ikke medlemmer av Haagkonvensjonen, så det er ikke snakk om en rettsmessig tilbakeføring. Sjansen for å få tilbake ungen sin ved bruk av rettslige prosesser er lik null. Rettsprosessene i disse landene fører aldri fram, sier han.

Waage anbefaler foreldre som frykter at deres barn står i fare for å bli bortført å sikre dem.

– Det går an å montere trackere eller GPS-sporere som kan festes i skolesekken eller kosebamsen, sier han.

Martin Waage i sikkerhetsselskapet ABP World Group, anbefaler foreldre som frykter at deres barn står i fare å sikre barna sine.
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Tv-hold jagter bortført datter


Kilde: sn.dk

Korsør: Zena Rohrberg og hendes søn Niclas Rohrberg har siden sommeren 2005 siddet hjælpeløse tilbage i Korsør.

Far og eksmand Naser Al-Ali, bortførte i sommeren 2005 parrets fælles datter, Nadia Rohrberg, som blev sendt til Libanon, hvor hun skulle bo hos sin onkel, fordi hun efter faderens mening var blevet for dansk.

De danske myndigheder kunne ikke hjælpe med at få datteren hjem. Dansk politi fængslede i begyndelsen af 2006 faderen, der boede i Tyskland, for kidnapningen, men Nadia måtte blive i Libanon, fordi han fortsat ikke ville hjælpe.

Zena Rohrberg havde stort set opgivet håbet, da Dokumenter Kompagniet fik øjnene op for sagen.

– Vi startede faktisk fra nul. Vi havde hørt om den her historie flere gange gennem de seneste år, når moderen har været fremme og fortælle, at hun var ulykkelig over, at der ikke blev gjort noget, forklarer Lars Høj, der er producent på programmet.

Havde givet op

Tv-holdet fik kontakt til en frustreret og opgivende Zena Rohrberg.

– Hun ville enormt gerne have hjælp af os, men havde meget svært ved at tro, at det skulle lykkedes, fordi hun så mange gange tidligere var blevet skuffet. Det oplever vi også i programmet, at hun bliver skuffet flere gange, fortæller producenten, der sammen med moderen undrede sig over de danske myndigheder.

– Godt nok er det Libanon, men så farligt er det heller ikke. Det er jo et land Danmark er i kontakt med, fortæller producenten.

I jagten på Nadia må tv-holdet blandt andet i kontakt med en Hitzbollah-officer, et højtstående medlem af PLO og en lokal borgmester.

Netop derfor måtte de have hjælp af lokale personer.

– Vi kunne ikke gå til den her familie og tro, at de ville slippe Nadia. Så vi var nødt til at finde nogen i klanen, den politiske struktur eller andre, der har en eller anden indflydelse på familien, fastslår Lars Høj og fortsætter.

– Der er vi på helt vildt usikker grund. Derfor allierer vi os med lokale folk i Libanon, der ved hvordan tingene fungerer, og som er klar over, hvor farlig onklen er, hvornår han er det, og hvordan vi skal behandle ham.

Om det lykkedes at få Nadia Rohrberg til Danmark efter seks år i Libanon, afsløres på TV2 mandag kl. 20.00, når andet afsnit af “De bortførte børn” sendes.

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NOTE: We are always available 24/7

U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443

UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013 –

Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271

Barnebortføring kan være straffbart


Kilde: Justisdepartementet

Barnebortføring er regulert i straffeloven § 216. Det er straffbart for en samværsforelder å bortføre et barn fra den barnet bor fast hos.

Det er også straffbart for foreldre å bortføre et barn fra barnevernet eller fosterforeldrene etter vedtak om omsorgsovertakelse.

Les mer om dette underBortføring fra barnevernet. Vedtak om omsorgsovertakelse trenger ikke være iverksatt, det er tilstrekkelig at vedtak er fattet.  At bostedsforelderen bortfører barnet er imidlertid ikke en straffbar handling. Dersom foreldrene bor sammen når bortføringen skjer, eller foreldrene har avtalt delt bosted, er bortføringen heller ikke straffbar.

Dersom en samværsforelder bortfører et barn kan han/hun straffes med fengsel i inntil 3 år. Etterforskning forutsetter at den gjenværende forelder anmelder bortfører til politiet. Politiet etterforsker og påtaler ikke slike saker på eget initiativ. Dersom det foreligger en straffbar barnebortføring og handlingen er anmeldt, vil påtalemyndigheten kunne etterlyse vedkommende gjennom politikanalene og be om at vedkommende pågripes og utleveres til Norge. Selv om handlingen ikke er straffbar vil politiet kunne etterlyse barnet og bortføreren for lokalisering.

Ny straffelov

I den nye straffeloven, som er forventet å tre i kraft i 2013, er straffen for grov omsorgsunndragelse skjerpet til seks år. En internasjonal barnebortføring vil i de fleste tilfeller ses på som en grov omsorgsunndragelse. I forbindelse med ikrafttredelse av den nye straffeloven blir det også vurdert om straffebestemmelsen skal endres ytterligere.

Forholdet mellom sivil- og strafferett

Det følger av barneloven § 40 at dersom foreldre har foreldreansvar sammen, kan en forelder ikke flytte barnet ut av landet uten samtykke fra den andre forelderen. Å flytte med barnet uten samtykke fra den andre forelderen med foreldreansvar vil følgelig være ulovlig i henhold til barneloven uavhengig av om forelderen som har flyttet er samværsforelder eller bostedsforelder. At en handling er ulovlig etter barneloven må derfor ikke forveksles med en straffbar handling etter straffeloven.

Haag-konvensjonen gjelder bare for barn som er under 16 år, mens straffebestemmelsen gjelder frem til barnet har fylt 18 år. En barnebortføring kan derfor være straffbar selv om den ikke kan forfølges sivilrettslig.

Anmeldelse av bortfører

Hvorvidt man ønsker å anmelde bortføreren bør vurderes nøye. En straffesak vil kunne gjøre det enda vanskeligere for foreldrene å komme til enighet om samværsordninger og omsorg i etterkant av en barnebortføring.


For enkelte foreldre vil en anmeldelse tydeliggjøre hva de har gjort, slik at de returnerer barnet frivillig. For andre vil det forsterke tillitsbruddet mellom foreldrene og tilspisse konflikten ytterligere.

Les også: The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?   Av- Bortført.no

Skoleplikt

Det er straffbart å holde et barn som er i skolealder borte fra skolen. I følge opplæringsloven har barn og unge både en plikt og rett til grunnskoleopplæring. Dersom en elev er fraværende fra den pliktige skolegangen kan foreldre eller andre som har omsorgen for eleven straffes med bøter. Les mer om dette i opplæringsloven.

For nærmere informasjon om politi og anmeldelse, se www.politi.no.

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

One key to ABP World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

Contact us here: Mail

Join the Facebook Group: International Parental Child Abduction

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443

UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013 –

Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271

PARENTAL ABDUCTIONS – TIPS ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CHILD AND YOURSELF


Source: Derrica Wilson, CEO of Black and Missing Foundation, Inc 

Over the last few months, there have been a number of reports of children abducted by a parent.

Some of them have been reunited with the custodial parent, while others have been brutally murdered, like two-year-old Tierra Morgan-Glover whose father threw her body, strapped into a car seat and weighted down with a car jack, into a stream.

Each year, over 200,000 children are kidnapped by a family member, many more children than are kidnapped by strangers. The good news is that family abductions can often be prevented.

Many custodial parents are not aware that parental kidnapping can happen. The following information can help you keep your children safe.

Why Do Parents Kidnap Their Own Children?
Child custody kidnapping experts say that people kidnap their own children for the following reasons:

  • To force a reconciliation or continued interaction with the other parent
  • To spite or punish the other parent
  • From fear of losing custody or visitation rights
  • In rare cases, to protect the child from a parent who is perceived to molest, abuse, or neglect the child

Is Your Child At Risk for Parental Child Abduction?
A direct threat of a child abduction should always be taken seriously. If your relationship with the other parent is volatile, and you argue over visitation, be concerned.

Read: World Renowned Child Abduction Recovery Experts ABP World Group: Christmas is the Season for International Child Abduction – Parents Must Take Extra Precautions

Here are some common warning signs.

If the other parent:

  • Has threatened abduction or has actually abducted the child in the past
  • Is suspected of abuse, and these suspicions are supported by family and friends
  • Is paranoid, delusional or severely sociopathic
  • Is a citizen of another country and is ending a mixed-culture marriage
  • Feels alienated from the legal system, and has family/social support in another community
  • Has no strong ties to the child’s home state
  • Has no job, is able to work anywhere, or is not financially tied to the area
  • Is planning to quit a job, sell a home, closing bank accounts, applying for passports, and obtaining school or medical records

Tips to Prevent Family Child Abduction
These are important steps you can take to clearly establish legal custody of your children, and to help prevent a kidnapping.

Custody:

  • Respect the other parent’s custody and visitation rights. Anger, frustration and desperation are leading causes of family abduction.
  • Attempt to maintain a friendly relationship with your ex-spouse and his/her family. If a kidnapping does occur, you will need the support of the kidnapper’s family to bring your child home safely.
  • Consider counseling. As little as 10 hours of intervention can reduce the stress, anger and frustration that lead to family abduction.
  • Begin the custody process immediately. You cannot prove your custody rights without a custody order.
  • Include abduction prevention measures in the custody order.
  • Keep a certified copy of the custody order with you at home.
  • Record and document abduction threats. Report them immediately to family court or your lawyer.
  • Ask the police to intervene and warn the non-custodial parent of criminal consequences—family abduction is often a felony.
  • Notify schools, healthcare providers, day care and baby sitters of custody orders. Certified copies of custody orders should be on file at the school office, etc.
  • Keep lists of identifying information about the non-custodial parent, including social security numbers, current photos, license plate numbers and bank and credit card accounts.
  • File a certified copy of the custody order in the non-custodial parent’s state, so that state’s courts know about the order.
  • Obtain a passport for your child, and notify the passport office that your child is not to leave the country without your written permission.
Your Children:
  • Keep completed child ID documents for each child. Update the color photo every six months.
  • Teach your children:
    • Their full name. Your full name, address and phone numbers.
    • How to use cell, home, and pay phones to call for help. Have them practice these calls.
    • Every day, reassure your children.
    • You will always love them.
    • You will always look for them if they don’t come home.

 When the Kidnapper Leaves the Country

Sometimes a family abductor will take the child out of the United States. The Polly Klaas® Foundation recommends the following US State Department and Office of Children’s Issues resources for help:

Note: You can download this fact sheet and other educational materials atwww.PollyKlaas.org, or request materials and Child ID kits for families by calling the Polly Klaas Foundation at 1-800-587-4357.

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

One key to ABP World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

Contact us here: Mail

Join the Facebook Group: International Parental Child Abduction

NOTE: We are always available, also during The Christmas holidays. Christmas is the high season for parental abductions.

U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443
UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013 –
Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271