Norwegian Resident: What has Norway Become?


  • Norwegian Resident: What has Norway Become?
    This article was written by a resident of Naustdal (same county as the Bodnariu family)
    and published in the newspaper Firda. Translated by Marianne Skanland. Segments
    posted with permission:
    “Personally I feel strongly for the [Bodnariu] family and I believe they are being treated
    very unjustly. It is a strange thing that this is what the rest of the world seems to believe
    also, just not in Norway and especially locally. I think most Norwegians are over-
    confident that Barnevernet does everything in the best interest of children. Everybody –
    government ministers, diplomats, county governors – rise to tell in complimentary words
    about the theoretically fantastic child protection set-up we have, without entering into
    the real world. I hope from my heart that this is what causes their behaviour.
    But I do not believe it. In this case I believe and I feel that it is not.
    By good fortune the larger newspapers have lately covered several child protection
    cases around the country, giving us shattering stories. On social media there are also
    links, to loads of terrible accounts by people in Norway who have experienced
    Barnevernet on its worst behaviour. Naustdal is hardly alone. It seems to me that proper
    investigation and renovation are needed, of laws, rules and procedures. It is not enough
    that an arrangement looks fine on paper. One must see to it that it functions in each
    individual case. I think there may be great variations between different county
    committees and not least between those working there.
    All the secrecy in Norway appears to serve the county committees more than the
    affected families.
    Everybody can go to social media and see authentic recordings from actions with a
    family, the police and Barnevernet in action. I guarantee it is not a pleasant experience.
    Regarding Naustdal, I understand it to have happened without warning. But from what I
    have heard, taking children away from their parents is supposed to be a last resort after
    everything else has been tried? Here, obviously, they have started at the wrong end.
    And where is it to end?
    In addition, the parents have been charged and risk a criminal court case, a paragraph
    running to 6 years of prison being used. Does it take a month-long court case to get the
    children home? All this is to happen to a young woman who grew up on a farm in a
    community in Naustdal municipality, a woman who went to Romania to help street
    children there, met her husband there, came home and by and by had five children.
    Together with her husband she has lived for 10 years in their own house on the farm of
    her parents, where they all lived happily in a large family.
    People ought to read carefully the desperate cry from the heart of the grandparents in
    an article in Firda on 10 February 2016.
    I have to ask, what has Norway become?
    Can such a thing happen only in Naustdal? Are people right abroad? Are these
    conditions such as we want to live with in Norway?


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