3 April 2016
The naive anonymity of victims of the CPS (Barnevernet)
By Marianne Haslev Skånland
The original of this article was written in Norwegian and published as Troskyldig anonymitet on 13 January 2016.
This English version has very little adaptation, apart from some translations of titles and quotes from newspaper articles. I have kept the long list of references, although they are all written in Norwegian, because the length of the list (by no means even exhaustive) perhaps gives an inkling of how intense the pressure is against freedom of expression in peaceful Norway, even within a limited sector like questions about child protection, pressure by no means emanating only from legislation but equally from the mainstream media, who act largely as a hindrance to revelation of the facts behind the official fiction.
Our authorities are having it their way: individual child protection (CPS) cases proceed seemingly without opposition. The victims are led to the slaughter like obedient lambs.
Centrally in this is the fact that Norwegians let themselves be told that talking and writing openly about their case, showing themselves openly, their face, name and where they live, all and any of this hurts their case. As if it could be more damaged than it already is – – Parents believe that it will go better for them if they do not let the public know who they are, so that the cases can remain unclear tales which nobody can do anything about. They believe it to be best that only our public services know who they are, the public authorities who are themselves pushing through the family destructions. They know it all, they inter-communicate, by order from the state. But the citizens whom public services are supposed to serve, they mustn't know?
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
But on 13 January 2016 there was an instance again, in an enlightening article from the Vestfold county office of NRK (the public broadcasting co): A group of parents in Andebu obtain contact with each other. The information they are able to exchange leads them to get out of their isolation, that again to their wanting to do something to stop the ravages of Barnevernet (our child protection service). So far so good.
But they still believe in confidentiality after all, the confidentiality they have been taught by our legal profession: lawyers and judges and jurists, who have instilled in them trust in the administrators and the judicial set-up: the lawyers and the courts. As the article says:
"De er redd for å snakke i frykt for at de skal skade sin sak. Samtidig vil de gjerne at deres saker skal vurderes på nytt og ses på av andre."
(They are afraid to talk, having fear that that may hurt their case. At the same time, they would like their cases to be re-assessed and looked into by others.)
(Several parents join up against Barnevernet)
nrk, 13 January 2016
So the parents believe the authorities to be harmless, believe that the mighty will correct mistakes if only they are made aware of them and understand them. In this way the parents waste time in fruitless waiting and hoping. Instead, they ought to remember that the responsibility for today's state of affairs rests above all with the jurists, judges and lawyers.
The parents also think that they can avoid going into battle themselves – that others will do it for them:
"– Vi håper at en eller annen i systemet ser at det har blitt begått grove feil. Det sier en mor som har blitt fratatt to av sine barn."
(We hope that somebody in the system will see that grave errors have been committed. Says a mother who has had two of her children taken from her.)
They can whistle for it. Only open, clear speech from people who show themselves has any chance of getting somewhere. Those who understand this, are the ones who demonstrate on open street, fortunately in several different locations by and by: in Oslo, Kristiansand, Arendal, Trondheim. They are the ones who speak at the demonstrations, under their full name, who publish videos about it, those who publish videos showing how Barnevernet and the police enter their homes and take the children by force. They are the ones who write on the internet under their name. The ones who inform all their friends and acquaintances, the ones who try to get our miserable mainstream media to write about them as real people, whom others who also want to have the public abuses stopped can contact.
When people do not do any of this, then what happens is what happened in Andebu: nothing.
"Rådmann Stein Rismyhr i Andebu kommune sier de hele tiden vurderer sin egen behandling av barnevernssaker og at han har full tillit til den jobben barnevernet gjør."
(The chief administrator of Andebu municipality, Stein Rismyhr, says they evaluate their own handling of child protection cases asll the time and that he has full confidence in the work carried out by Barnevernet.)
The admdinistrator also derails the discussion:
"Han sier at Andebu kommune har flere barnevernssaker enn folketallet skulle tilsi.
– Det er ikke vår praksis som avstedkommer dette tallet, sier han. Han mener det alltid er hensynet til barnets beste som kommer først."
(He says Andebu municipality has more Barnevern cases than average in relation to the size of the population.
– It is not our practice which makes for this number, he says. He thinks the consideration for the best interest of the child is always what comes first.)
As if the average number of forced takings of children into public care in our country is not already sky high above what is in the best interest of children – chock-a-block full of irresponsible "assessments" of parents and children, the way most Barnevern cases are.
Handled in this way, hardly any child gets back to its parents. Nor does it stop Barnevernet taking new children into care. Not as long as everything is anonymous, so that good and upright suckers for a comfortable life can go on believing that the parents are hiding out of shame. Not while there aren't large groups of citizens who are well-informed, who have reliable knowledge because they can see and meet people of flesh and blood who can document things and stand up for it.
A sensible person in Czechia said, "What handicaps you Norwegians is the fact that you haven't lived under communism. Therefore, you have not shared our experience of what it is like to exist under a dictatorial bureaucracy. So you have far too much naive confidence in your authorities."
Some Norwegians are experiencing it now. An increasing number have to live under a dictatorial bureaucracy, viz the threats and ravages of Barnevernet. It is time to learn from it.
It would also be useful for us to absorb the general understanding of the importance of using one's freedom of expression. It is so important that the Paragraph (Article 10) about it in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) takes precedence over some other rights because it is a necessary prerequisite for these other rights to work in practice.
(Freedom of speech and censorship of child protection victims)
(Freedom of expression – secrecy promotes abuse)
(Freedom of speech about child protection – a little repetition)
(From two judgments about freedom of expression at the ECtHR plus a County Committee case and Personvernnemnda (the board for protection of personal information) )
(The Powers again trying to muzzle those they persecute)
(The Norwegian Data Protection Authority and the police want to muzzle us – again)
(And again and again)
(Who is to be protected in Barnevern cases?)
(Freedom of expression Fredrikstad municipality and in the newspaper Fredriksstad Blad?)
(When distinguished jurists feel sorry)
(The newspapers Nettavisen and VG about the filming of children taking into public care)
(Black lists – insurance companies and Barnevernet)
(Unjustified exposure and stigmatisation? – of victims or perpetrators?)
(A sorry figure of an anonymous informer and ditto newspaper)
(Who creates fates and who wants to hide them?)
(Barnevernet makes propaganda about openness again)
(I know how "the lists" can disappear!)
(Deletion of information about temporary foster homes)
(especially p 5)
(Just the same as we say as well)