I’m only bringing up Germany and Norway here, but MEP Cistian Terhes revealed in a recent interview that there are thousands of similar situations spread all over Western Europe. Immigrant families are the preferred target, but anyone can fall pray to the new predatory “Child Protection” Services and NGO’s in the new woke Europe.
Norwegian Nightmare: ‘Barnevernet’ Preys On Children and Parents
One of the first things you notice about Norway when you visit is how beautiful it is. But there is a very dark side of Norway that most of the world knows nothing about. It’s called Barnevernet, and it can be as cold and brutal as the Norwegian winter.
Barnevernet means “child welfare.” It’s Norway’s network of local child protection service offices. But to its victims, Barnevernet means anything but protecting children.
‘Barnevernet’ Takes American Children
After moving to Norway from Atlanta for her husband’s employment, American mother Natalya Shutakova’s three American-born children were taken by Barnevernet two months ago for alleged child mistreatment.
Shutakova and her Lithuanian husband were jailed for 24 hours and told they could get two years in prison for discussing the case. They’re waiting to hear if they will lose custody of their children for good. All three are American citizens.
Foreign Families at Special Risk
Foreigners living in Norway seem especially at risk of having their children taken by Barnevernet.
Video on YouTube shows police tackling Kai Kristiansen outside his home while his mother films it and pleads, “Would someone please help us. Barnevernet is here in our home and they’re trying to take our son. I’m Canadian.”
Barnvernet moved in after the Kristiansens started homeschooling Kai because he received death threats at school.
It was Barnevernet that took the five children from Romanian and Norwegian parents Marius and Ruth Bodnariu in 2016.
Barnevernet claimed the reason was that the parents were spanking. But an investigation revealed the real reason was officials believed the children were being ‘indoctrinated’ into Christianity by their parents. Worldwide outrage forced the Norwegian government to return the children. The Bodariu’s escaped from Norway and have filed suit before the European Court of Human Rights.
Norway Clogs the Docket for Child Welfare Cases at the European Court of Human Rights
The government of Norway has in the past defended the work of Barnevernet against what it called “wild accusations.” But if there’s not a problem, why does a nation of only five million people have 26 cases pending before the European Court of Human Rights, and 17 of the last 18?
Observers say that’s a staggering number of child welfare cases for one of the smallest nations in Europe.
“There are 26 cases in total at this stage and will probably rise to 30 by within a few months,” says Marius Reikerås, a Norwegian human rights council before the European Court of Human Rights.
Reikerås told us, “There is something severely wrong going on in Norway that you are taking children out of the well-working families. We’re not talking about child abuse and we are not talking about alcoholism or drug abuse. We are talking about, in general, about normal families that have all the capabilities to provide good care for their children.”
Norwegian Expert: Shut Barnevernet Down
Einar Salvesen, a Norwegian psychologist who has been an expert witness in Barnevernet court cases since 1995, says Barnevernet needs to shut down immediately.
“You need to close down all the offices,” Salvesen old us. “It’s 400 offices. It has become a system of evil in too many cases much more and more cases than we want.”
In 2013, Barnevernet took American citizen Amy Jakobsen Bjørnevåg’s one-and half-year-old son Tyler because he was one pound underweight. She phoned the Obama White House pleading for help. But she got no help. six years later, her son Tyler has been passed from foster home to foster home and has had his name changed at least twice. And Amy alleges that he has been tortured.
“We do have paperwork that says that he was tied to the bed because he kept standing up in his crib calling for “mommy,” Bjørnevåg told us. “It isn’t enough that he’s been calling for you. And they completely ignore it. And they do everything to make him stop calling so they cut all contact. That’s their solution instead of working with families.”
Member of European Parliament: Barnevernet a “Monster”
Czech Member of the European Parliament Tomáš Zdechovský has battled Barnevernet, and he calls it a “monster.”
“I think that they made a lot of mistakes and they are still doing a lot of mistakes,” Zdechovský said, “And this monster is really functioning without any control of somebody.”
Expert calls it “Child Trafficking”
Reikerås believes Barnevernet has not been reigned in because this is about a lot of money, and he’s not afraid to call it “child trafficking.”
“Because we see that billions and billions of dollars are being put into this system each year,’ Reikerås says. “And, of course, a lot of people are profiting big time from this governmental pot that you can see. So, saying that this is a form of child trafficking? Absolutely. My opinion is yes.”
Norwegian Government: We’re trying to Fix It
We presented these charges to Norway’s Ministry of Children and Families and it told us that Barnevernet is in the process of being reformed for the, “…strengthening of legal safeguards for both children and their parents.”
But it’s unclear whether Norway is serious about reform. It expelled a Polish diplomat this year for trying to defend Polish families in Norway from Barnevernet.
The U.S. government has so far done nothing about attacks against American families by the Norwegian government.
A Mother Loses Hope
Amy continues to lose in court and wonders if she will ever regain custody of her son.
“I would do anything to hold him in my arms at least one time, for him to have some sort of sense of where he comes from and his background and his family, that there is a whole family that loves him and misses him.”
Response from Norwegian State Secretary Jorunn Hallaråker at the Ministry of Children and Families to CBN News:
- Protecting children from neglect, maltreatment, violence, and abuse, and securing their wellbeing is one of the most important tasks for my Government. Our system is child-centric and the best interest of the child is the guiding principle.
- The Child Welfare Act underlines that children should grow up with their parents. The Act places great importance on family ties and continuity in the child’s upbringing.
- An important feature of the Child Welfare Service is that it is a help service and the vast majority of measures offered in order to help the families, are voluntary assistive measures within the home.
- Placing a child in alternative care without the consent of the parents is always a measure of last resort. A child can only be placed in alternative care if it suffers neglect, violence or abuse.
- However, child welfare cases involve difficult dilemmas. There is often a conflict between what is best for the child and the rights of the parents.
- You refer to the present cases handled by the European Court of Human Rights. We take these proceedings very seriously. We are currently working with the Attorney General in preparing the cases for the Court. I underline that all of these cases have already been thoroughly considered by the Norwegian courts.
- The assessment of Norwegian practice before the European Court of Human Rights may highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of the Norwegian Child Welfare System and thus enables us to develop and improve it.
- We are constantly working to improve the Child Welfare System. There are a number of processes handling with different aspects of the system, among others a proposal for a new Act on Child Welfare Services was sent on public hearing this spring, a competence development strategy has been introduced, and the staff capacity of the Child Welfare Services has been strengthened. I believe these measures will improve the decisions made, and help to ensure that children and families receive the right help at the right time.
- As concerns the individual cases you refer to, I cannot comment upon these.
- The Government is constantly working to improve the Child Welfare System. There are a number of processes handling with different aspects of the system. For example:
- The Act on Child Welfare Services is currently under revision. A Committee has performed a scrutiny of the child welfare legislation in relation to a human rights perspective.
- Based on the Committee’s report, a proposal for a new Act was sent on public hearing in April 2019. The proposal suggests, among other, further strengthening of legal safeguards for both children and their parents.
- A competence development strategy has also been introduced for the municipal child welfare services for the period 2018–2024. Improved education as well as measures targeting both management and employees in the child welfare services, will enhance quality of practice and decisions.
- Also, the staff capacity of the Child Welfare Services has been strengthened in recent years. From 2013 to 2018 there has been an increase of almost 1300 employees.
- To gain more knowledge about the handling of child welfare cases the Government attained a report from an independent board with a revision of more than 100 care orders and interim orders in emergency cases.
- The report is recently published, and it showed that in general, the removal of the children from the families involved was necessary in order to protect the children. It also showed that the situations leading up to a placement of children in alternative care were all grave, and not insignificant family problems. However, the report also showed deficiencies in some services, and that there is room for improvement.
- The Norwegian child welfare system is based on several legal safeguards. For example:
- The threshold for issuing a care order is defined by law, in the Child Welfare Act.
- The Child Welfare Services prepare care order cases for the County Social Welfare Board. However, a care order may only be issued by the County Social Welfare Board.
- The Boards are independent and impartial decision-making authorities, with the same procedural rules as a regular court.
- The decisions of the Board can be appealed to the regular courts.
- The County Governor at regional state level serves as a control mechanism. The Governor inspects the work of the Child Welfare Service, and parents can make complaints about the work of the Child Welfares Service to the County Governor.
- The child has the right to be heard in all decisions that affect him or her, and the views of the child shall be given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
- Parents have important legal rights in care order cases. They are entitled to free legal aid, a due process (to be heard, bring witnesses/evidence). Parents can once a year file for a revocation of the care order to have the child returned.
Undoubtedly, Bollywood’s best contribution is Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway
Times of India, April 15, 2023
Does a child primarily belong to a state or to a foster family, or do children all over the world have a god-given, inalienable right to be raised, protected, and provided for by their biological parents?
This is the contentious issue raised by the Bollywood film Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway. In the last couple of decades, the Norwegian child welfare agency, known notoriously as “Barnevernet”, has been judged by the European Court of Human rights for violating children’s rights by forcing a separation between parents and children, in more than a dozen cases.
The Human Rights Court is also right in its judgements reiterating that it is the responsibility of the state to hinder child abuse. But once investigation about child abuse is completed and if parents are not found guilty, then the state has the responsibility for restoring the family relations between parents and children to its fullest. Having caused parental alienation, the state cannot then conclude that the children are better off in an adoptive family.
Several times, European countries like The Czech Republic and its embassy have also taken up the issue of Chech families residing in Norway. The Norwegian ambassador in the Czech Republic has been disinvited to a diplomatic meeting for not restoring mother-child relationship, even after the Czech mother was found not guilty of violating her children or abusing them.
The laws in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were intentionally formulated to stop parents and school authorities from beating children on the pretext of maintaining discipline in the class or silence at home. The laws were also meant to prevent abuse and neglect of children whose parents become alcoholics, drug addicts, or are sexual predators. So the intention of the state is genuine and in the rarest of rare cases one does see examples of sexual abuse, slapping, or other forms of physical punishment, which are considered a violation of a child’s right in Nordic countries.
Families moving to Scandinavia should be told that the laws of the countries here do not permit physical punishment in the name of strict upbringing of children. Children can be persuaded to behave responsibly, and children do behave responsibly if one takes the time and practices patience.
Shouting, screaming, and chastising children is not a healthy form of pedagogical approach. All this is worth appreciating. Similarly, gurus and spiritual leaders should not be permitted to go kissing children on lips and tongues. Children should be seen as individual entities and should be protected from all kinds of abuse in the name of religion, blind worship, discipline, and strict parenting.
But how does this give a psychologist the right to deprive a parent who has never beaten his child, or never done any harm to a child, of the right to have contact with his children? By the force of a single report, a psychologist can evaluate parental abilities and allow child welfare agencies to send children to foster homes. Later, some of them get adopted by Scandinavian white parents. This seems more like a blatant act of racism rather than protection of children’s rights.
Barnevernet in Norway, Familieretshuset in Denmark, and The Child Protection Act, known as the “LVU” in Sweden, are feared by immigrant communities. Sweden has seen large-scale protests by immigrants against what is being referred to as kidnapping of children, and protesters have claimed that immigrants are disproportionately targeted. The method seems to be simple. The child is separated from the parent for a period, and after some time the family court and the Child Protection Services conclude that it is in the best interest of the child not to have contact at all with its parent
The Scandinavian countries are known for their generous welfare system, where women have the same rights as men. But seldom is it known that women are giving birth to children at an average age of 30, and this makes pregnancy difficult, and in many cases impossible. Every tenth couple needs help with artificial insemination, and yet, being blessed with a child is not a guarantee to all families. As a result, the post-modern Scandianavia societies are seeing a rise in the number of childless families. There is a growing concern among immigrant families that their children are taken away from them to be given away to childless families by using these draconian laws.
Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway has highlighted this conflict and also shown that government and diplomacy can be used in a positive way. Especially when parents are helpless and devastated after such an experience. All psychologists ought to know that it is extremely traumatising for both children and parents to lose contact with each other, and it cannot be compensated by better material conditions.
The film is based on a true story of an Indian mother, Sagarika Chakraborty, who fought the child welfare system alone to get her children back. After an arranged marriage, Sagarika had moved to Norway with her husband and, according to her own version, her husband was physically abusing her. He later abondoned her, leaving Sagarika alone in the fight to recover her children. When mothers like Sagarika ask for help, the authorities should stop the husbands from beating their wives and not by separating the children from their mothers. Separating a child from its mother is a gross violation of both a child’s right to a family as well as mother’s right to have contact with her child. A mother who had lost contact with her children in Denmark told me that it hurt more to lose her children than suffering the pain of physical abuse from her husband.
Sushma Swaraj, the former foreign minister of India, understood the dilemma of a mother and gave the Indian diplomacy a valid boost for its mission by supporting Indian mother’s fight to get reunited with their children.
Sushma Swaraj, the Indian mother Sagarika Chakraborty, who fought the case and won the right to get reunited with her children, and all those who helped her in her struggle in India and abroad, are true heroes. This is how battles for human rights ought to be fought in today’s world.
Bollywood should also get credit for making a film based on reality, and finally the scene of emotional outpours was a courtroom and not the Swiss mountains or the Spanish beaches. The Indian film industry and its legendary, unforgettable songs have united India, and still play a great role in creating an atmosphere of peace and harmony.
The Indian and Pakistani diaspora abroad, along with their brethren from other Asian and Middle Eastern countries, can once again witness the transformation of the Indian cinema, which portrays and gives voice to their struggle abroad.
A few years ago, a Pakistani immigrant to Denmark, said to me, why don’t you make songs like, “ Maine ma ko dekha hai, Ma ka pyar Nahin dekha”? A song that depicted the dilemma of losing contact with your biological mother in India. These songs from Bollywood struck a chord of resemblance, stressing that Asians do share the value of respecting mother-child relationship.
Similarly, Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway in a globalized, digital world expresses that Asians across national boundaries are getting united in in the dissemination of a new narrative, that the bond between mother and child or father and child is an inalienable part of our culture, and we are willing to fight for its nobility.
Sagarika Chakraborty, the real-life Mrs Chatterjee of ‘Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway’, writes: Don’t dismiss it as fiction, I lived this story
India Express . March 25, 2023
The Norwegian Ambassador has written that “a mother’s love in Norway is no different from a mother’s love in India.” But my love, which came out in the form of anguish at the prospect of losing my children forever, was used as a reason to take my children away
XSagarika Chakraborty and Rani Mukherjee. (Screenshot)
Written by Sagarika Chakraborty
Twelve years ago, my two-year-old son and five-month-old daughter were taken away by Norway’s child welfare agency, Barnevernet. It made all kinds of accusations against me. Under pressure from the Indian government, Barnevernet returned my children to India in the care of my brother-in-law, even though he was just a 26-year-old bachelor.
I fought back. I went to the Indian authorities and submitted myself for evaluation.
I proved myself. The Indian child welfare committee found me to be a fit mother. Its order was confirmed by the Kolkata High Court. The children have now been with me for ten years. The world can see how well they are doing.
But even though I have proven myself in every way, Norwegian officials continue to malign me. In his article in The Indian Express (‘Norway cares’, March 17), the Norwegian Ambassador has said that in his country, children are not taken away for reasons like hand-feeding or co-sleeping. But Barnevernet’s own report of the time says that my son “does not have his own bed” and that I was “force feeding” him. It says that things improved in foster care because “previously he had to be fed, but now he eats by himself” and “he now sleeps in his own bed in his own room”. If these are not the reasons, then why are they mentioned?
Barnevernet accused me of being violent against my husband when I shouted at him for not doing enough to save our children when care workers threatened to take them away.
This accusation of me being violent was so absurd that when we first appealed against the removal of our children, the County Committee said that the babies should be returned to us. The County Committee said, “The mother was frightened when she understood that the Child Welfare Services might place the children away from the home.” It ruled that there was no emergency situation before the care workers came to our home and the problem only arose after they threatened to take the children away.
Norway’s Ambassador to India writes | ‘Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway’ doesn’t represent the deep care Norway has for families
We thought we had won, but Barnevernet got a stay order from the Stavanger District Court. The Court said that the removal of the children was correct because I had “screamed and howled” when caseworkers said they were taking away the custody of the children. The explanation that I was reacting to these threats of the care workers was rejected by the Court saying that even though my behaviour was a reaction to the understanding that Barnevernet could place the children outside the home, it was still right to have kept them away as my reaction was “incompatible with the care of small children”.
The Norwegian Ambassador has written that “a mother’s love in Norway is no different from a mother’s love in India.” But my love, which came out in the form of anguish at the thought of losing my children forever, was used as a reason to take my children away.
Mani Shankar Aiyar responds to Norway’s Ambassador | ‘Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway’ is not an attack on a country, but a call to reconsider its child protection system
After the Indian courts restored my children to me, I qualified in computer engineering and business management. I have been working for several years in different multinational software companies. I provide for my children all by myself. Yet Barnevernet had called me mentally unfit. Can a mentally unfit person meet all these challenges?
The Norwegian government had been quiet since my fight ended and my children returned. Only now, with the release of Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway, a movie chronicling my story for global audiences, have they once again belittled my truth. How can the Ambassador comment on the movie’s depiction of my story and condemn it as fiction, when I lived this story? I implore everyone to go and watch the movie to witness my truth as well as educate themselves about what continues to happen to Indian parents globally.
All I can say is that the truth will triumph.
Victims of Jugendamt
Cristian Terhes, MEP
To be continued?
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