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FORUMET REDD VÅRE BARN • View topic - Many articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in India
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 Post subject: Re:Several articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in India
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:53 am 
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Kaustav Bhattacharyya:

Sunday Guardian 2 June 2018

"In the 18th and 19th centuries, the public schools of Britain, the lycées of France and the Cadet Academies of Prussia set the template for modern Europe’s state-controlled childcare apparatus."


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 Post subject: Re:Several articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in India
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:54 am 
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Mrutyuanjai Mishra:

Sunday Guardian, 9 June 2018

"Four decades ago, Mallika was adopted by a Danish family from a children’s home in Coimbatore, only to be abandoned a few years later. Personal misfortunes and state apathy further added to her ordeals.

Mallika contacted me with her story after reading my articles in this column about violation of children’s and mothers’ rights in Denmark. Mallika was born in India. Four decades ago she was adopted by a Danish family from a children’s home in Coimbatore in South India at the age of four."



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 Post subject: Re:Several articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in India
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:55 am 
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Suranya Aiyar:

Sunday Guardian, 16 June 2018

"The Trump administration need not have taken the blame entirely on its own shoulders for the separation of children from parents illegally entering its borders. Initially, the controversy did not involve children separated from their parents. It began with an investigation into the whereabouts of some 7,600 children who had come to the US-Mexico border as unaccompanied minors and had been placed with sponsors by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It turned out that the DHHS was unable to account for around 1,500 of the children surveyed."

"The basic problem with child protection systems everywhere is that they were conceived of only as a benign state intervention between the supposedly opposing interests of parents and children. Little attention was given to having the usual checks and balances when police or confiscatory powers are given to state agencies."


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 Post subject: Re:Several articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in India
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Suranya Aiyar:

Sunday Guardian, 21 July 2018

"The power to remove children from their parents can be a formidable weapon of oppression in the hands of the state, and cases of children being taken into state custody are on the rise globally."

"The Indian system is somewhat more compassionate than the US one.
.....
Even so, the separation of Bangladeshi children by the Indian authorities is no less traumatic for parents and children than the brutal child removals at the US-Mexico border. A research report published in 2015 by the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (MCRG), called “On the Edge: Women, Life and Confinement”, by Sucharita Sengupta documents the plight of Bangladeshi mothers separated from their children when they are apprehended at the Indian border."


"Commentary from around the world on the US child migrant crisis has been emphatic about the trauma to parents and children separated in state care. But, both in India and the USA, it is human rights advocates and activist courts that have engineered the systems under which child separation is taking place."

"In the US, the removal of children was the result of the application of the Flores Agreement of 1997, which settled years of litigation on the treatment of minors by US immigration authorities."

"I am loath to suggest formulas for child protection. Blind belief in this or that way of doing things is what has made child protection such a heartless and inflexible machine in the West. What I propose is factoring into the consideration of the best interests of the child, not just the risks of the situation in which they find themselves with their parents, whether at home or in jail, but also the inherent risks of their being removed to state care."

*

A comment from the author:
"Ironically, it was human rights groups and activist court[s] that were instrumental in putting in place the child separation laws that have today revealed their inhumane face. There is a pattern in recent welfare and rights thinking that champions state-heavy measures that end up oppressing the very people they were meant to protect. This is never more so than in the field of child welfare."
  
  

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 Post subject: Re:Several articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in India
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:58 am 
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Suranya Aiyar:

Part 2 (of the above article)
Sunday Guardian, 28 July 2018

"In many instances, governments have apologised to the populations from whom children were taken in the past. But every time the beast of state-sponsored child removal has raised its head again in the same place where it was brought down. Today it exists in the form of the very child protection agencies and removals for the “best interests” of the child that are touted all over the world by rights activists as the gold standard for child welfare."

"Tens of thousands of children go missing from state care in Western countries every year, many of whom are trafficked into sex work. It is also well known that children in state care die at higher rates than those in the general population."

"We should also take warning from the misuse of confidentiality rules by Western child protection agencies in covering up their own mishandling of children in care."

"Specifically, in child protection, it is high time that we recognise that state-sponsored welfare measures for children, especially those giving the state the power to take over custody of children, are fraught with risks and should be exercised sparingly, if at all."

  

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 Post subject: Re:Several articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in India
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The first in a five-piece series of articles about the ominous state of Indian child protection legislation – it is heading the same way as in the West. Legislation has been passed but it has not yet been implemented. Maybe it can be stopped?


Suranya Aiyar:

Sunday Guardian, 1 September 2018

Part 1 in a five-part series of articles

"Did you know that under the latest Indian foster care laws, any child can be picked up by anyone and declared to have unfit parents by tribunals that are not even courts, called Child Welfare Committees (CWCs)? Did you know that these children can be compulsorily placed in foster care or institutions till the age of 18? Did you know that even if a child is found lost and his parents are traced, the CWC can unilaterally decide not to return him?"

"In addition, the DCPU, which consists of government officials, has been given the dubious task of surveilling children for “vulnerability mapping” (r. 2.2.1, Foster Care Guidelines), maintaining data bases of children and targeting them and their families as “at risk” (r. 85(1)(vii), JJ Rules). These powers are given without any consideration of the child’s right to privacy or the restraining requirements of a search or arrest warrant from a court. As in the out-of-control child “protection” systems of the West, the child targeted has less protection from state misuse of power, overzealousness or mistakes than the worst type of criminal."

  

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 Post subject: Re: Several articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in Indi
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:46 am 
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Suranya Aiyar:

Sunday Guardian, 8 September 2018

Part 2 in a five-part series of articles


"One of the first tactics employed by the Ministry was the issuance of exaggerated claims of child abuse in India in a study issued in collaboration with UNICEF and Save the Children, called “Child Abuse India, 2007”."

"On sexual abuse, the numbers were jacked-up by expanding the definition of sexual abuse to include viewing of pornography between classmates and friends. Viewing of pornography came in as the highest proportion of “abuse” in the overall sexual abuse figures. The second highest was strangers rubbing their “private parts” during public travel."

"We have some hints of what “emotional abuse” could mean in practice in India from the 2007 study on child abuse mentioned earlier. This study classified as “emotional abuse” such things as shouting, name calling (a look at the questionnaire used in the study’s survey revealed this assessment was made by asking children whether anyone called them “budhu” or “pagal”) and “comparison” with siblings or other children."



The author writes about the article:
"Last week in the Sunday Guardian's Global Child Rights and Wrongs column I asked why India is adopting cruel Western laws for child confiscation. In this article I track the path taken by the Ministry of Women and Child Development since its inception in 2006 to show how it has been pushing laws that give greater and greater powers to the state to surveil, regulate and take over custody of not just orphans and abandoned children, but children with living parents who do not wish to give them up. These laws have reached their harshest iteration yet in Maneka Gandhi's Model Foster Care Guidelines of 2016. Yes, there are children who are abused in their families. But the question is do our child protection laws ensure a professional and unbiased investigation and adjudication of suspected cases of abuse, do they guard against harassment of innocent families and are they restricted to cases of abuse and incest or expanding into the subjective and dubious terrain of parental care practices, "verbal and emotional abuse" and social engineering of Indian families in the image of some questionable Western ideal - if the West today can be said to demonstrate any ideals when it comes to family life. Are we protecting children or putting innocents at risk?"

  
  

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 Post subject: Re: Several articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in Indi
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:30 am 
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Suranya Aiyar:

Sunday Guardian, 15 September 2018

Part 3 in a five-part series of articles


"Child-protection rules in India make no mention of the role of filial ties in the well-being of children, while granting ad-hoc tribunals unlimited powers to confiscate kids and prosecute parents."

"So, in effect, the foster care proceeding before the CWC begins not with the question of whether it is justified to remove the child from parental care, but whether it is justified for the child to remain in parental care. Legally speaking this is a dramatic reversal in the usual burden of proof. The rule, and an important one to keep a check on overzealous and mistaken state officials, is that when the state seeks to exercise confiscatory powers or accuse anyone of wrong-doing, the burden of proof is on the state to prove its allegations. But in foster care proceedings under the JJ Rules it is for the parents to prove that they have not abused their child."

" Where the stresses on the family are owing to poverty or just being alone, like not having relatives who can help out with the children, no practical help is offered to the parents. They are only told that their failure to resolve the problem (which could be housing or child care) means that the child has to be removed. The system will say that it has no interest in removing children because doing so takes away considerable resources and funds. But this obfuscates the fact it takes even more resources and funds to provide for an entire family, than to target only the child.
    Our Indian child protection rules are the same. There is no mention anywhere of helping parents. Not even sick or disabled parents. The only “help” is to “allow” them to surrender their children to be given up for adoption or foster care."




The author writes about the article:

"Today in the Sunday Guardian I write about how the new foster care laws from the Ministry for Women and Child Development punish needy parents with child confiscation instead of offering support. The Indian laws have adopted the Western concept of the "best interests of the child" which sounds noble, but in effect allows state authorities to remove children not for abuse, but based on hostile and subjective evaluations of the social and economic conditions of their families. As in the West, the practical effect of being "child-centric" is that the system can look as though it is "conscientiously" intervening for needy children, whereas what it is really doing is turning its back on their parents."

  

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 Post subject: Re: Several articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in Indi
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:37 am 
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Suranya Aiyar:

Sunday Guardian, 22 September 2018

Part 4 in a five-part series of articles


"It is odd that the child protection services in these advanced countries are so hostile towards the underclass. After all, child protection is part of their larger welfare system that is supposed to be assisting this very class of people. Perhaps the unstated thinking here is that if someone is poor or needy despite the many advantages in these developed societies, then it must be their own fault. Worse, there must be something very wrong with them. So wrong, that they are bad even for their own children.
    Could it be that in the West, the aim of child protection is to break-up families that deviate from a certain (middle class) ideal, rather than to simply give refuge to abused children?"


This is called “welfare” and touted as a model for South Asian countries to follow. But this is not welfare. This is a society sinking under the breakdown of social and filial ties, and clutching at straws in the form of heavy-handed state intervention. This is a cover-up for the price that is paid in Western society for some of its most glorified ideals of individualism and personal freedom. These are failures and mistakes that are very different from our Indian ones. Yet we in India are busily adopting these measures from the West. Why? And why isn’t anyone in the Ministry of Women and Child Development asking these questions?

  

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 Post subject: Re: Many articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in India
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:41 am 
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Suranya Aiyar:

Sunday Guardian, 9 September 2018

Part 5 in a five-part series of articles

"This is where the whole operation starts to look more and more like a eugenics exercise. Short of sterilisation, this is the best way to cull a society—take the children of the perceived “unfit” parents and send them to be raised in foster care or forced adoption with state-approved “fit” parents.
    Not only is this unethical and unspeakably cruel, the system has not succeeded in making things better for most of the children it takes away. The child protection and foster care model of our Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 (“JJ Act”) is failing in the advanced Western countries that have it. Even its most vocal advocates will admit that children in foster care do very badly compared with children in the general population. Most of them age-out of the care system as school drop-outs and enter into a life of homelessness, prostitution, substance abuse or crime."


Those who have been in the care of the child protection system, be it in private foster homes or in institutions, also do worse as adults as regards illness. This is the case not only for mental illness but also for physical illness. The medical explanation is possibly that being deprived of one's own parent(s) creates long-term stress, which takes a toll on the immune system, making the person more susceptible to illness. It can be serious illness too; breast-cancer has been demonstrated to be over-represented in women who had earlier been separated from a parent. Cf

"Group foster homes in India are allowed Rs. 2000 per child from the government. This sum is bound to grow and grow, if the experience in Western countries is anything to go by. Once you have this system in place, it keeps asking for more funds and politicians look good allocating monies to child protection. Given economic conditions in India, a payment of Rs 2000 per month is already a hefty amount."

"Why are we allowing the Ministry of Women and Child Development to get away with importing failed Western systems for Indian children? Who is lobbying the Ministry with ideas of mass foster care programmes? Are parents even aware of how stubbornly committed child rights groups in India are to the dysfunctional Western model of child protection?"

"Much is said these days about child abuse awareness. But the most universal form of child abuse in India today is the public apathy about the dangerous child-related policies and laws being quietly passed here."

  

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 Post subject: Re: Many articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in India
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:10 pm 
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Jan Simonsen:

The growing number of tragedies resulted by forced confiscation of children in Norway has gained global attention. However, great efforts and mobilisation are required to improve the situation.
Sunday Guardian, 6 October 2018


"The Norwegian Child Welfare Agency, Barnevernet, removes around 1500 children from their parents every year.This amounts to around 4 children per day all year round. But in reality, so many parents who have shown gross neglect, that triggers child welfare laws, do not exist in Norway. The result of the arbitrariness of the power of Barnevernet to remove children and place them with strangers is many tragedies. Children get traumatised, and some parents and children even take their lives."

"Barnevernet as it works today is a disaster and there has been little will to clean it up."

"Perhaps the breakthrough may come in the next few years. A total of nine cases pertaining to Barnevernet have been accepted by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
    Until now, the major protests against Barnevernet have come from abroad. It is noteworthy that great efforts and mobilisation are required to improve child welfare in Norway. I have helped to the best of my ability with advice to foreign politicians and others, articles in foreign newspapers and joining demonstrations outside the Norwegian embassies abroad."


  

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 Post subject: Re: Many articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in India
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:06 am 
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Connie Reguli:

In the United States, child-protection agencies have been given unlimited powers to confiscate children and prosecute parents without due process and in contravention of basic human rights.
Sunday Guardian, 13 October 2018

"In the USA, we have witnessed a 40-year social experiment in child protection initiated in 1974 by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). This experiment has failed. The project of casting layers of legislation on the American public in the name of the “best interest of the child” and promoted with the belief that every family needs government oversight, has backfired."

"Parents shudder when facing child protection agencies because at every stage of the case they know that the same agency is gathering evidence against them. The same social worker who comes to their home to inspect for safety reasons is likely to be the person who gets on the stand and testifies that the laundry was not done and the home was cluttered, preventing the return of their children.
    This is the state of the child protection system in the United States."


"There are, after all, 114 registered lobbyists in Washington DC for “foster care”. The corporations are huge, such as Providence, Omni, Eckerd, Youth Villages, and the multiple “church-based” foster-care companies. They are in the business of getting contracts for the provision of foster care and now they will be contracting to provide the “services” for family reunification. This is a serious and intolerable conflict of interest. Why would you seek to restore a family and return a child to his home, when it means you lose a stable monthly income while the child is in foster care?"


Editor of the Global Child Rights & Wrongs in the Sunday Guardian, Suranya Aiyar, writes of this article:
    "This week in the Sunday Guardian's Global Child Rights and Wrongs column, we are proud to present US Attorney Connie Reguli who is one of the finest advocates in the world for a stop to the tragedy of the wrongful confiscation of children from innocent families by overzealous child protection agencies in the US and elsewhere. Connie Reguli runs one of the biggest advocacy groups in the world, the Family Forward Project, for reform of the child protection services and assistance to families victimized by child protection agencies.
    In this article, Reguli takes us through the history of foster care in the US, explaining how it has gone wrong leading to wrongful child confiscations on a massive scale. She walks us through every iteration of child protection laws since the 1970s, showing us how each time reforms that were intended to respond to the system's failures only created new problems without solving the old ones. Sadly, we in India are adopting the same doomed system and no one from the child rights field is speaking up. Like the US corporations that have created a USD 18 billion foster industry in which children are the commodity, the bread and butter of Indian child rights groups and "advocates" comes from the implementation of this system. This is where civil society has totally betrayed us. So it's up to ordinary people to speak up or suffer the consequences."


Regarding the legislation and development in the times of Clinton's presidency, cf the articles from the Chicago Tribune linked to in the very first posting in this thread:


  

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 Post subject: Re: Many articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in India
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:16 am 
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Marius Reikeras:

Sunday Guardian, 20 October 2018

In this acceptance speech for an award given to him by the Nordic Committee for Human Rights, the author vows to continue his fight against Norway’s punitive and unfair child-protection programme.

"I’m deeply honoured to receive this award. It is a great acknowledgment, and a real “kick” at the Norwegian government. And they need it!
    This is an award I want to share with all the people I’ve met in the last 11-12 years, who have fought against human rights violations in Norway. I am one of many thousands in Norway, and also from other countries, who have said that “enough is enough”!
    We have come a long way since we began."


"The case of the Ensby family is one of the most serious child welfare cases presented before the ECHR. And I am confident that they will win their case [this is a case where a baby was taken at birth and forcibly adopted (i.e. adopted without the parents’ consent) based on a diagnosis of slight mental disability in the mother, which she denies. The grandparents were also refused care of the baby."

"A few weeks from now Norway has to meet before the Grand Chamber of the ECHR in Strasbourg in the Lobben case [another case of forced adoption of a baby where removal was justified based on contested “social-emotional” development tests carried out on the infant and claims that the mother’s activism on social media against the unjustified removal of her baby was harmful for it. I consider this to be the most important case against Norway in recent history.A judgment in the case was given on 30 November last year in the Chamber, where we lost with four against three votes. The judges supporting us came from Ireland, Azerbaijan and Bulgaria. The judges voting against us were from Austria, Germany, France. And the fourth, and as it turned out deciding vote, came from Norway!
    It turned out that the Norwegian judge, Erik Møse, played a double role. While he was the Norwegian judge at the ECHR, he was also employed as a judge in the Supreme Court in Norway!"

  
"But I would like to “thank” Erik Møse who has made the public aware that judges sit on many sides of the table.
    The Lobben case also reveals that some other countries are like Norway in wanting to maintain the status quo so far as wrongful removals of children by child protection authorities are concerned, such as the United Kingdom and Denmark, who support Norway.
    But other countries, especially those from Eastern Europe, support us. These countries support protection of family life and are much stronger in support of families than Norway and the UK."


"Especially since Norway was convicted in the ECHR for violating Article 8 [protection of private and family life] of the European Convention of Human Rights on 6 September this year [in the case of Jansen v. Norway which involved a Norwegian Roma mother whose child had been taken into care and with whom she had been denied contact]. The decision was unanimous."

"A French lawyer told me that more money is spent on child protection services in Norway than in France. And France has a population 12 times bigger than Norway."

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"A neighbour of mine from a while back made €110,000 per year for hosting one foster child.
    Thanks to social media and thanks to people like you who are here today, the battle moves forward.
    In 2015-16, the European Parliament started to show an interest in Norway. During a conference in Brussels in 2015, hosted by the European Parliament, the Bulgarian Parliamentary Member said to the Norwegian representative: “You are so full of [expletive deleted]!”"


"In June this year the Council of Europe adopted a resolution against Norway by 43 to two votes [the resolution demanded transparency, restraint and proportionality in child removals by social services based on a motion that was highly critical of Norway’s child welfare services].
    So we have succeeded in many ways, but we still have a long way to go."

  
  

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 Post subject: Re: Many articles expected in the Sunday Guardian in India
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:10 am 
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Suranya Aiyar:

Sunday Guardian, 27 October 2018

In her acceptance speech after being awarded a laureate by the Nordic Committee for Human Rights, the author appeals to policymakers in India to resist and reject the Western models of child protection.

"There are only a handful of us in each country fighting for justice against child protection services or “CPS” as we call them. But I believe that if we work together, then we will eventually succeed in persuading the public, our governments, and international organisations that CPS in its present form has failed."

"Here in India, UNICEF, Save the Children and billionaire philanthropist organisations have been lobbying our governments and public influencers to adopt this same mistaken model of child protection.If CPS can go so wrong, become so corrupt and power-mad in your countries despite your celebrated systems of public accountability, you can imagine the havoc they would wreck in mine."

"We all agree that child abuse is wrong and should be punished. But due process has to be followed. Without due process, you are at the mercy of state authorities—and that is what makes the difference between a democratic and an undemocratic system. Due process and a healthy skepticism of all government authority are the distinguishing features of a free society. But all skepticism seems to vanish when you start asking people about child protection agencies. What is the reason for this blind spot in the public eye? I think that they simply do not believe that child protection agencies are violating basic human rights; that child protection investigations and trials are unfair and biased and children are being taken from their parents without good reason.
    So what can we do about this? I believe we have to do more to show the public that child removals are taking place for reasons falling far short of any common understanding of abuse. That children are being taken even where there is no physical or sexual abuse, and no issue of drug or alcohol addiction. We have to show, that judges are ordering removals even when they say, in so many words, that the children are loved by their parents and have not faced any abuse or abandonment by them."


  

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