26 July 2021

Brothers and sisters of children in care

By the Skretting law firm

• • • •
This is one of three articles highlighting the way harmful actions by the CPS affect siblings.
   The present account has been published in Norwegian by the law firm
Advokatfirma Skretting, on their facebook page, in a summer greeting to their readers on 15 July 2021.
   This English version is published here with the kind consent of attorney Arnhild Skretting.
   Translation: Marianne Haslev Skånland
• • • •

The Ministry of Children and Families does not want to make things any easier for the siblings of children whom the state takes into care – the forgotten, silent children!

Brothers and sisters have a human right to have contact with each other. That follows both from our
Constitution §102 and from the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) Article 8.

It is tragic that the Ministry of Children and Families, in their Proposition 133 L (2020-2021), will not change child protection law so that siblings would on the basis of the
Child Welfare Act be given a right to demand contact with their brothers and sisters. The Ministry will still leave such decisions to the Child Welfare Services (CWS, the Norwegian child protection services). The CWS is to have the power to grant visitation between siblings "to the degree that this is in the child's best interest".

The background to Norway repeatedly being found guilty of human rights offenses at the Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg is that contact with the biological family is so often considered by the CWS
not to be in the best interest of a child taken into care.

We in the Skretting law firm support the human rights lawyers who assert that accepting the new child protection act proposed and passing it into law, will increase the risk of children and families being exposed to continued human rights deprivations by the authorities.

As we are passing into summer, our law firm would like to share with you a heart-rending message from a big brother who, ever since he was a little boy, has experienced violations of his human rights. He has only rarely been permitted to meet his younger sister, for 2 hours per year:

" I have a sister, 15 years old. As some of you may know - - - but when I shall soon pass through this door I shall get to see her for the first time this year .... in 2020 I was allowed to meet her for 2 hours. And in 2019 I was able to see her for one day.

She is, as I said, 15 years old. .... Visitation for 2 hours per year. The child protection services Barnevernet hold that to be enough, and would prefer to give us no visitation at all.

Cool – aren't the systems we have in Norway good! But what if they had functioned in practice too.

What have I done wrong to be denied communication? Madness ... Something good about working a lot is that then I don't have time to think about all this. That's what I have found, and thank you, God, for that! "


See also

Siv Westerberg:
Norway and Sweden – where inhuman rights prevail
MHS's home page, 7 May 2012 / 11 November 2017

Anita Skippervik:
Norwegian methods of investigation of child protection cases do not meet international standards
MHS's home page, 2 March 2019

Øivind Østberg:
The fight over the future of child protection in Norway is hardening
MHS's home page, 8 March 2020

Nils Morten Udgaard:
Norway and 'civil society'
MHS's home page, 13 November 2016

Octavian D. Curpas:
With Barnevernet, Norway is going South
MHS's home page, 1 September 2016

Marianne Haslev Skånland:
Convictions of Norway in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in cases concerning child protection (Barnevern)
MHS's home page, 12 March – , last updated 1 July 2021

 – :  
The Norwegian state's interpretation of the ECtHR judgments about our child protection Barnevernet
MHS's home page, 9 March 2020

 – :  
"Rights" for children – what is the result?
MHS's home page, 1 February 2016

 – :  
The Raundalen Committee's evaluation of the biological principle, Recommendation NOU 2012-5, and the presentation of the Recommendation
MHS's home page, 13 November 2020

Marius Reikerås:
A brief report in the wake of the two ECtHR judgments against Norway on 10 March 2020
MHS's home page, 24 March 2020

Jan Simonsen:
Child protection case damages Norway's reputation in the Czech Republic
MHS's home page, 28 November 2014

Suranya Aiyar:
Family must come first
MHS's home page, 14 February 2013 / 17 October 2015