The iron hand that rocks the cradle

Almost all families attacked by Norway's ‘child protection services' are good and loving. Some need help but most of them need nothing other than to be left in peace.

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:10 pm IST

Published - January 30, 2012 12:27 am IST

120130 - Norwegian 'child protection' illustration for Op ed article.

120130 - Norwegian 'child protection' illustration for Op ed article.

I must compliment Indian newspapers, not least The Hindu , for giving a thorough coverage to the case of the Indian couple deprived of their children by the Norwegian ‘child protection services' (CPS).

Very many of the comments to the articles, too, are exactly to the point. But you all need to know that this is the way the Scandinavian CPS carries on in general. Sweden is actually the worst of the Scandinavian countries.

One commentator says: “It would be interesting to see how many other white Norwegian children are taken away from their parents just because they don't have ‘proper toys'.” The answer is: thousands, on exactly such a pretext, or any other. Parents who are frightened or who protest are stamped with a quack psychiatric diagnosis. There is not much need of real social work in Norway and what there is (helping out with practical tasks such as washing and cooking in homes where the parents are ill), the social workers do not want to do. The CPS, in order to have work, wants children and they attack anybody who is vulnerable. That means mostly poor people, Norwegians as well as foreigners, because they are helpless to defend themselves. The general population chooses to disbelieve and despise the families, to believe CPS lies, and to believe that they themselves could never be hit because they are such good parents.

The truth is: Almost all families attacked by the CPS are both good and loving. Some need help, e.g. financial; but most of them need nothing other than to be left in peace by this vicious agency and its helpers. The CPS smashes the family and destroys the individuals. In their ideology, family ties are unimportant; they speak not of parents but “caregivers.”

Living off foster care

CPS lives by depriving children of their parents. It is an industry, which pays incredible amounts, especially to psychologists, for “reports” and to foster “parents” (they advertise for people to be foster parents and announce a yearly pay of, say, NOK 430.000 (€ 30.000) plus paid holidays and regular “time off” from the foster children plus allowances for building their house or buying an extra car plus pension entitlement. The business also, of course, provides extra income and extra jobs for social workers.

Frequently, the social workers themselves will take as their own foster children some of the children they remove from parents. Tens of thousands of teachers, kindergarten personnel, health workers, etc., report their “worry” over this and that child to the CPS. The court procedures are those of kangaroo courts. No matter how well those of us who fight against this are able to document the disastrous effects on the lives of both parents and the children, all the changes in legislation and procedures keep going in the wrong direction: The children are the property of the state and every parent who questions anything is accused of being an ill-doer and a danger to his/her children.

“What is this confidentiality about?” another commenter asks. Answer: The Norwegian state is trying to blackmail everyone to shut up about Norwegian child “protection” atrocities as a condition of letting the Indian children out of their clutches. That way Norway can: a) have the case die down by letting the children return to India, b) prevent outspoken comments abroad and avoid several of these countries perhaps joining forces, c) still continue to protect its social “services” — an industry feeding tens of thousands of people doing unproductive “work”, and d) avoid having to face heaps of other cases quite similar to the Stavanger/Kolkata one, some involving Norwegian families, some foreign families.

Another case involving India, because the child's mother is Indian (the father is Swedish), is that of Domenic Johansson, taken by Swedish police on behalf of the Swedish CPS off an aeroplane to stop him and his parents from going to India, and then abducted by Swedish CPS. The charge against the parents was that they wanted home schooling for Domenic:

(“The Domenic Johansson Case. Home schooled boy snatched from plane in Sweden” > dominic_johansson_case_ home-schooled_boy_snatched_from_ plane.htm )

Fighting state abuse

Cases similar or identical to the Stavanger/Kolkata case are many. There are people trying to fight against this criminal abuse perpetuated by our state, of course, but they themselves are often threatened. Anyone trying to help children who flee the CPS is prosecuted and jailed. It is encouraging for Norwegians trying to get publicity out about CPS abuses (the press is very state-subservient and uninterested) to see, in the bottom right hand corner of the large poster carried in the demonstration in Kolkata (the picture from the newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad is shown on the front page of, a little way down from the top), a picture of an ogre with the text “Barnevern” (child protection). That picture has been taken precisely from this website. So, some intelligent Indians seem to have discovered “us”. It warms our hearts.

Although CPS persecution in Norway happens mostly to Norwegian families, foreign families are disproportionately represented. One case, with the same head of social services, Gunnar Toresen, as in the Indian case, concerns two Turkish children, a case from which I have numerous details. I wrote about it in 2006: “The Manavgat case in Turkey — Norway is the kidnapper” on the website “Redd Våre Barn”: > f=56&t=628

The case has recently come to life because at long last, a Stavanger newspaper went after some details of the city of Stavanger having paid out half-a-million crowns to be spent as graft to take the children illegally out of Turkey. The man who engineered this is a private investigator who previously worked for the Norwegian crime force and now did this job for the CPS. But, in my view, there are far more important facts: The children had been placed with a Norwegian foster “father” who had already been accused by two previous foster girls to have abused them sexually. (No attention was paid to this, of course, since the CPS do not tolerate criticism of their foster “parents”.) The boys were kidnapped and taken back to Norway, to the very same foster “father” and his partner. This foster “father” has only now been on trial for child pornography and child sexual abuse, and been found guilty.

Back in 2006, the social services and their Norwegian lawyer derided the boys' parents in a Turkish court for making such claims of abuse, expressing contempt and irony towards the parents, holding that the mother wanted her boys back out of prestige and not out of love, since she made no attempt at that time to get back her daughter, only her sons. (The mother had been only 14 when her daughter was born, and the CPS had immediately taken the daughter because of the mother's “immaturity” and never let her know where her daughter was. The sons were born much later and had lived with their parents for several years before they were taken. It was possible for the parents to find them.

I am full of admiration about the actions taken by the family of the Bhattacharyas, the Indian people and newspapers in general. You need to continue being on the alert: You cannot trust a single thing said by the Norwegian CPS, the Norwegian Foreign Minister or any other politician or official. It was foreseeable that Norway would try blackmail in the form of making it a condition for returning the Indian children to their family that everybody must promise to shut up about the case. In that way, Norway can continue to do what it does, the kangaroo courts can go on as before, the foster “parents” and psychologists can go on earning money, myriad social workers trained each year can get jobs. Needless to say, I hope Norway does not succeed with this blackmail.

(Marianne Haslev Skanland is Professor Emeritus, Bergen, Norway.)

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