10 April 2016
interviews Jan Simonsen
interview is in Norwegian, with texting in English.
Translation by Marianne Skånland.
Jan-Aage Torp interviews Jan Simonsen
Dyakonov, 10 April 2016
The original interview
is 30 minutes
long, covering several different
video by Henning Lunde, produced for Restoration
Oslokirken.no, published 27 March 2016.
part about Barnevern is reproduced here by the generous
permission of Jan-Aage Torp.
The interview is
also available with Russian texting:
Интервью Ян Оге Торп с Ян Симонсен о
Dyakonov, 10 April 2016
The interview part about Barnevernet:
We have talked
about Barnevernet – the Norwegian child protection system.
And you live part of the year in the Czech Republic, where
a strong focus has been on Norway and our system of child
protection. How did this situation arise from the Czech
It started with
a case concerning a Czech mother. At first there were both
a mother and a father, but they are divorced now. The case
started when a kindergarten nanny thought that one of their
two sons had said that his father had touched him on his
pyjamas, on the outside.
The result was that the two sons were taken from their
parents immediately, in a so-called emergency decision, and
placed with foster parents.
The there was an investigation carried out by the police,
and it showed that this was not true. Nothing untoward had
But the mother - who was by then divorced - did not get her
children back, they were kept by the foster parents.
And a decision was passed: The mother was allowed to meet
her two sons twice a year, for half an hour each time. But
she was not allowed to hug them, nor to speak with them in
Is it true?
Oh yes, because
they are not supposed to attach themselves to their mother
again, they are to be attached to the foster parents. That
is the current way of thinking.
But the grandparents came on Czech tv telling the story
about this. The Grandfather misses his grandchildren
terribly, of course. And it caused enormous reactions, it
was all over the tv channels for a long time.
And then the journalists started investigating and showing
an interest in Norwegian Barnevernet, and the politicians
Then the case was taken up by the Czech National Assembly,
which has passed a resolution; the Czech president has
spoken in very strong condemnation, saying Barnevernet is a
Nazi system; the prime minister has addressed Norway. The
case has also been taken up by the Human Rights Committee
of the European Parliament; there have been large
demonstrations against Norway outside the Norwegian Embassy
on several occasions.
Today many Czechs associate two things only with Norway:
whaling and Barnevern. "Barnevern" has become a term of
abuse, really. It is no longer translated into English, you
see, people do not talk of a "child protective system" or
anything like that, they just talk of "Barnevernet". Both
in Czech and in English.
"Barnevern" has become a term of insult?
Yes, in Czechia,
and now in Romania, and soon all over the world, it seems.
For there was a sequel:
A Romanian family up in Naustdal lost their children in an
emergency decision last November, on a suspicion that they
had been spanked. And this was a very devoted family, a
decent, Christian family. All who have voiced an opinion,
relatives, friends, acquaintances of this couple, praise
them highly, saying they have been such a harmonious
And afterwards, on the two occations when the parents have
been allowed to meet their children, the children have
cried and been deeply unhappy, and have wanted to go back
to their parents.
It is easy to understand: Almost six months have passed,
waiting for the case to come up before the court. Think how
painful this has been for the family, not least how
traumatic and destructive for the children already, even if
– I believe, or at least I hope – the parents win in court.
Anyway, this case has led to very large demonstrations
against Norwegian Barnevern in Romania and the rest of the
world. In January - February, all in all some 70,000 people
demonstrated against Barnevernet in 40 different cities. It
I took part in the demonstration and gave a talk outside
the Norwegian Embassy in Prague. We called out, "Shame on
Norway! Shame on Norway!" Then the procession went to the
building where the distribution of Norwegian EU
contributions is handled. There they shouted, "Keep your
money! Keep your money!"
Altogether, then, this has made
a lot of stir and unrest around the world, and it is high
time that Norwegian politicians take it in and understand
that this criticism has a reason, and that they must do
something about it.
mentioned high officials and politicians who have spoken
about it and you mentioned the comprehensive
demonstrations. But I know that you also focus on work in
the parliamentary sector, on an international level? Can
you say something more about that?
year, this case was taken up by Parliament in the Czech
Republic, which passed a resolution about what Norwegian
child protection ought to be like. It was very good and
Norwegian parliamentary representatives should indeed just
Then, a Czech Christian-Democrat member of the EU
parliament took it up, in collaboration with another
parliament member from a party which could be described as
a sister party of the Norwegian Progress Party.
They have since coordinated a group of parlamentarians in
the EU parliament who have a group coordinating action.
This matter has been up before the European Parliament at
least twice, and each time there has been some support from
parliamentarians from many countries.
So here we have an established system, a body which
facilitates action. New demonstrations are coming: On 16
April there will be demonstrations in 10 different time
zones all around the world. It is hoped, then, by the
arrangers, that there will be over 100,000 people out on
the streets to demonstrate against Norway.
simply gives hope that your contribution in international
political work will lead somewhere?
is no doubt that all this has by and by started to put
pressure on Norwegian Barnevernet and on Norwegian
authorities. But it took a long time.
So we must hope that the pressure leads to more than talk,
that it leads to action – at least that there will be some
instruction from the Minister to Barnevernet about not
executing emergency decisions without any previous
investigation, and that they should act the way they –
untruthfully – claim that they do, that is: only take
children away from their parents when there is grave care
failure, violence or sexual abuse.
Because that is the answer which journalists from abroad
get when they call Barnevernet. Barnevernet always says: We
cannot go into individual cases, because there is an
obligation to be silent, but children are only taken as an
absolutely last resort.
And that, of course, is indirectly a harsh attack on the
family which has lost its child. Indirectly they say that
there has been very serious care failure, and violence. But
in reality it turns out that that is untrue. Because most
children are taken from their parents if there is what they
call a lack of parental ability.
And that is a subjective assessment made by some Barnevern
bureaucrat or other, who believes that the mother does not
have good enough eye contact with the child when
Barnevernet has been visiting, or she seems nervous or
something - often used arguments. So it simply isn't true.
Now, then, the Minister must take an active part, must say
clearly to Barnevernet that their practice must be that
which they claim it to be.
I have said so many times in the programs: I am happy to
meet people who have opinions, and who want them to lead
And I can really say about Jan Simonsen: This is a man who
is willing to do something, to find constructive ways, to
stand with people even when they have been beaten down, and
help them get up.
So it has been a pleasure to meet you again, Jan Simonsen.
I look forward to the next report from you.
On this note we conclude yet another edition of "The real
world" with Jan-Aage Torp, here on Miracle Revival Channel.
God bless you! Until we meet again: All the best!