CWS said extending residence permit was only a practical technicality

Norway's Child Welfare Society (CWS) in Stavanger which announced on Tuesday that the custody of the two Indian toddlers would be given to their uncle took the position that the laws direct it to protect children who are suffering abuse, ill-treatment or neglect while on Norwegian soil, irrespective of the nationality of the parents or children.

The Indian government has argued that since the parents will be returning to India after the expiry of their visa on March 8 it is inconceivable that the children should be brought up outside their own cultural and linguistic environment. It pointed out that retaining the children in Norway after the departure of the parents would amount to ‘de facto kidnapping by the authorities.'

The CWS defended itself saying: “Extending the residence permit for the children in a case such as this is a practical technicality and does not mean that the CWS is seeking to keep the children in Norway for longer than is necessary to arrive at a satisfactory solution to the case.”

“This week, the CWS in Stavanger completed its talks with the uncle in the child welfare case concerning two Indian children. It has been concluded that care of the two children should be awarded to the brother of the children's father enabling him to take the children back to India,” the CWS statement said.

In order to process the case the CWS has had to apply for an extension to the children's residence permits, authorities said.

PTI reported that this arrangement required the CWS to ensure that the necessary legal framework and follow-up procedures were in place to safeguard the children's best interests and enable the uncle to deal with the situation in the best possible way.

But Norway had demanded that the Indian government oversee the development of the two children once they return to India and have asked for guarantees regarding a follow-up of the case from India's special envoy, Secretary (West) Madhusudan Ganapathi who met with the minister in charge of Children, Equality And Social Inclusion Audun Lysbakken.

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