Hundreds gather to protest against Norwegian Barnevernet

A protest march against the Child Welfare Service of Norway drew hundreds of participants in Prague this Saturday. No police interventions were reported.

Photo courtesy of Twitter / Václav Š. David @vaclavdavid

Protest march against Norwegian Barnevernet | Photo courtesy of Twitter / Václav Š. David @vaclavdavid

The group met in front of the Norwegian Embassy in Malá Strana and marched through the city centre displaying anti-Barnevernet signs.

Barnevernet became a target of criticism by Czech broad public after removal of 2 sons from a Czech couple in 2011 due to suspicion of child sexual abuse by the father. Even though allegations were not proven and charges were later dropped, their mother still continues a fight to regain custody of her children.

The Norwegian social workers recently also took a nine-month-old girl born with a congenital kidney ailment away from her mother of Czech origin. The Barnevernet later claimed that the parents did not have sufficiently developed contact with the baby.

Barnevernet has been facing constant international criticism. On Saturday, reportedly more than 10 thousand people met to protest against the Norwegian social workers also in other European cities. Most of them in connection with a Bodnariu case – a Norwegian Christian family whose five children were seized by the state’s child services due to fear that they were being indoctrinated with Christianity in November 2015. A Facebook page supporting reunion with their parents accounts for more than 23 thousand fans.

In late March 2015, Barnevernet also took away 2.5-month-old Maxine baby girl, daughter of deaf Norwegian and Slovak citizen. Social service later justified their action with a reasoning that there was  “a lack of eye contact between the girl and her parents”.