Strasbourg is facing another application against Norway

The Norwegian authorities refused to return a child to a Slovak family.

Prague / Bratislava / Lillehammer, June 22, 2018: The Slovak/Norwegian Ladická family, from whom the Barnevern took away their breastfed baby Maxine three years ago for alleged lack of eye contact with her mother, have, for the time being, lost their struggle for their child.
The Supreme Court, as the court of cassation, refused to deal with the case in substance. The ruling of the District Court, which decided against the family last autumn with reference to the Barnevernet´s findings concerning the lack of parental skills of parents in first two months of the Maxine´s life, thus remains in force; contrary to this, one year earlier, in September 2016, the other District Court ordered an immediate return of the child and criticised prior proceedings of the Barnevern officers.

Media in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and other countries have repeatedly informed about the case. It mainly got attention due to the reasons for removal. The mother of the child, a Norwegian herself, is demonstrably being penalised for having grown up in foster care in her childhood. According to what was presented during court hearings, the Barnevern would automatically remove from her any other child born in Norway.
The family will now turn to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). As Marica Piroíková, the Agent of the Government of the Slovak Republic before the ECHR affirms, it will be supported by the Slovak government. The number of actions against Norway for violations of children and family rights has been increasing steadily. The Grand Chamber of the Court has recently accepted the “Strand Lobben” case of forced adoption in which other countries, including Slovakia and the Czech Republic, intervene according to publicly available information.

“I can confirm that in similar cases of violations of children and family rights, Slovakia, just like the Czech Republic, has already been intervening, as enabled by the procedure before the European Court of Human Rights. The Ladická family will receive our full support. I believe that Norwegian social services violate the European Convention on Human Rights systematically, and I draw attention to the fact that a separate chapter is dedicated to Norway in the report on the balance between protecting the best interests of the child and and the need to keep families together, which will be dealt with at the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,” said Marica Piroíková.

The above-mentioned report draws attention inter alia to the vague reasons that Norwegian authorities use to take away children, such as “lack of parental competence” or “possible future emotional harm”. The report describes in detail the functioning of the Norwegian system and draws attention to a number of specificities, such as “parental houses”. In these, mothers are observed during child care, and most of them leave without their child. The report also cites insufficient education of social workers, the separation of siblings and frequent changes of foster families.

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More on the case of the Slovak/Norwegian Ladická family

[Photo: Ladická / Privat]