Open Letter to the Norwegian Embassy in Vienna

Open Letter to the Honorable Kjersti Ertresvaag Andersen,
Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Vienna

Vienna, 7. December 2019

Dear Madam Ambassador,

sadly, again we are protesting at the Norwegian Embassy in Vienna on behalf of the American born children who were wrongfully separated from their family by Norway‘s dysfunctional child care system ‚Barnevernet‘:

To recap: in May of this year Brigita (11), Nikita (10) and Elizabeth (7), three American born children were brutally removed from their parents Natalya Shutakova (US citizen) and Zygys Aleksa (Lithuanian citizen) by Norway‘s child welfare system ‚Barnevernet‘ and sent to live with strangers for no justifiable reason. Three days before the removal, the oldest daughter was given a cell phone for her birthday. The daughter’s misbehavior over the weekend caused her mother to take away the phone until the behavior was corrected – a normal disciplinary measure. The following Monday a school teacher expressed a concern to Natalya because her daughter didn’t bring a lunch to school. It came out that the girl was hiding her packed lunch in her backpack and that she was lying because she wanted to get her cell phone back. The school then reported a concern to the child welfare office.

Late at night on the same day Barnevernet together with the police brutally removed the children who were already peacefully asleep in their beds. There was no court proceeding, no investigation, no due process, or assistance given to the family prior to the taking of the children. Barnevernet’s main concern is the family is perceived to have not a good enough routine. No violence, no abuse, no drugs, just a subjective assessment that the family might not reach the standard expected of them. We hope we can agree that this is not a compelling reason that would warrant forcefully removing children from their parents.

The children were sent to different foster families at secret addresses, and they are only allowed to see their parents 3x per year. They desperately want to come home, but Barnevernet won’t release them. Furthermore there is evidence that the children are suffering horrible physical and mental abuse while being in foster care. How can this be in the best interest of the children?

It is very obvious that several articles of the UN convention on the rights of the child are being heavily violated. The children are being deprived of their rights. They have the right to be raised by their parents. They also have the right for regular contact and relationship with their parents even when they are separated from them. But placing the children in different foster homes at secret addresses with no contact to their parents completely ignores this right. According to the UN convention, Children also have the right to preserve their identity, including nationality, name and family relations. Currently the children are being deprived of this right and of their American heritage.

The Norwegian authorities must act immediately to save these children from this horrible trauma. They need to send them back to their loving and caring parents. Keeping the children in foster care will not only continue to violate their rights but also cause further psychological damage.

And if we may add, stealing foreign citizens is nothing else but kidnapping which is a serious burden for the diplomatic relations between Norway and the United States.

Sincerely,

 

Björn Korf
Step up 4 Children’s Rights

Eduard Pröls
CitizenGO

Jan Ledóchowski
Plattform Christdemokratie