The International Day of The Child - 2001

 

 

 

The International Day of the Child

 

October 1, 2001

 

The International Day of the Child is being celebrated for the 48th year. The objectives are to ensure children their right to childhood and to develop in the best possible sphere of confidence and safety that we as adults are able to offer them.

 

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted twelve years ago and contains a comprehensive list of general rights for all children in the world.

 

In article 3 the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states:

 

“In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration”. And furthermore “States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures.

 

Article 5 emphasizes the respect of the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.

 

The child’s right to keep its identity is secured in Article 8, and its right not to be separated from its parents or, if already separated, the right to continuous contact with its parents, in article 9.

Applications by a foreign child or his or her parents to enter or leave a country for the purpose of family reunification shall, according to article 10, be dealt with in a positive, humane and expeditious manner. Article 12 assures the child who is capable of forming own views, the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child. For this purpose, the child shall be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting it. According to article 16 no child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence. The right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation is ensured in article 32.

 

Regardless of this, several thousands of children in the Nordic countries (adored by many as being in the frontline when it comes to children’s rights) are experiencing that the social bureaucracy and the administrative courts have deprived them of all these rights ensured to them by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights. Instead of acting in the best interest of the child, they have interpreted these Conventions in a bureaucratic and child hostile way furthermore fuelled by a positivist conception of justice, (i.e. e the view that everything is relative and that there are no fixed values or laws and that the justice system first of all is political, not judicial).

 

As a consequence children are being subjected to unnecessary intrusion in their privacy and family life. These children suffer real abuse initiated by the incompetence and lust of power of social workers as well as abuse by the unknowing or “system aligned” judges in the administrative courts.  On top of this come the well-paid and calculating foster parents who commit physical, psychological and sexual abuse in the foster homes.

 

Quite a few children are subject to concealed adoptions, i.e. e the surrender of infants to infertile couples who even get paid for the pleasure of having children at the same time as every effort is made to shield or isolate these children from their natural sphere of parents and relatives.

 

In an article in the Gothenburg Post of September 30, 2001 titled “The care of juvenile delinquents has failed” Professor Sven Levander states:

“Their social background was mostly a real catastrophe and several of them had repeatedly been pushed around between their natural parents and foster parents. One of the youngsters had experienced 18 foster homes. How can the society continue placing children into foster homes when it fails time after time? It is irrational.”

 

On several occasions, the European Court of Human Rights has found Sweden, Norway and Finland guilty of violating children's and their parents' right to private and family life by forcefully abducting children. The states have been compelled to pay considerable compensation to the families attacked.

 

But the Nordic system of compulsory care of children remains unchanged. Therefore, let the International Day of the Child, October 1, 2001, become the starting point for a better respect for ALL children’s human rights.

 

 

Ruby Harrold-Claesson

Attorney-at-law

President of the NCHR

 

Translated and expanded by Peter Klevius

Anthropologist

Second Vice president of the NCHR

 

 

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