Embassy makes gross bluff about Norwegian child protection
Norwegian politician criticizes Barnevernet in the Prague Post
Mr. Jan Simonsen, a personal friend of EAL Convenor Jan-Aage Torp since 1999, was a member of Stortinget (Norway´s Parliament) for 16 years, as well as a member of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in the Council of Europe. Simonsen has sent us this article for re-publication. It was first published in the Prague Post on January 8th.
Jan Simonsen and Jan-Aage Torp together at Jan-Aage´s 50th birthday celebration (photo credits: Tor H. Lanton)The Norwegian Embassy in Bucharest has published a fairly long statement about the Norwegian Child Welfare Services (Barnevernet) on its webpage.
It’s probably the same information other Norwegian embassies spread to various countries, including the Czech Republic.
This statement is inaccurate and in part downright untrue. It is aimed at showing a rosy picture of a system which is felt by thousands of Norwegians as abusive and has triggered large demonstrations not only in Bucharest and other European capitals but in Norway too.
The Embassy writes: “In 2014, approximately 53,000 children received measures from the child welfare service in Norway. More than eight out of 10 of these cases were voluntarily assistive measures for children and families.”
The number of children receiving assistance from the Child Welfare Services is of course completely irrelevant in relation to the problem: that many children in Norway are taken away from their parents.
The statistics of The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs show that 11,200 children and young individuals lived in Norwegian foster homes in 2014. In the course of the year 1,665 children were taken from their parents involuntarily. Every day around the year, then, 3 – 4 children are taken from their parents.
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