Norway accused of taking immigrant children unfairly

Norway faces accusation of taking mostly immigrant children unfairly from their familes in order to give them to foster homes

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Representational image

After a series of critical charges that can highly affect a country’s profile like custody disputes, oil-rich Norway now faces new accusations that can raise the argument of cultural intensitivity as numbers increase of immigrant children that are being seized by officials and handed over to Norwegian foster families.

According to the latest available data, 6737 children were taken in 2012, as 1049 of them were immigrants or born to immigrant parents.

Diplomatic disputes occured between several eastern European countries and India, despite the authorites’ insistence claiming that they are acting in the best interests of the children.

In the case of abuse, all Western European countries assert the right to place children in foster care, whether they are nationals or not. However, the concerns for unfair seizures, allegedly for cultural reasons are now to arise.

According to Associated Press, Lithuanian Airida Pettersen said that child welfare officials removed her two children from the classroom and placed them in a foster home.  Pettersen was one of  the immigrant mother's whose children were taken from her in order to be given to a foster home. She was only able to meet her children after one of her relative's took them from foster home.

Morten Moerkved, head of the agency in the small town of Malvik where Pettersen lives told the agency that sudden removal of the children only occurs in case of acute circumstances, including cases of abuses or serious deficiencies in the daily care of the children, citing persistent drunkenness or drug use by the parents  or evidence of malnourishment.

Pettersen belives that the authorities took her children because of the way her daughter dresses.

She said that "I dress my daughter in a pretty dress and make her comb her hair. They look at me like I'm from a Third World country. In my country if you don't take care of yourself you don't get a husband."

The chil welfare agency told that the children are not being removed from their families unless they were considered they are in danger, however, Moerkved said that if children attending class badly dressed or in smelly clothes it would be a factor in considering a child’s welfare.

TRTWorld and agencies