Two New Convictions of Norway in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in cases concerning child protection (Barnevern) and a similar case from my own “backyard”

The 12th and 13th cases in the past three years finding the Norwegian Child Welfare Services guilty of human rights offenses were decided on November 25th. If you would like to see the details of the cases and the statements of the Court, you can find them here and here.

If you would like to see all thirteen decisions and a previous one, you can find them here. I am thankful to Professor Marianne Skanland for compiling this list of cases.

As the number of such cases begin to pile up, it seems that the Norwegian Child Welfare services are oblivious to such proceedings. This response is inexcusable.

I was told by a case worker in Norway years ago that I shouldn’t be so concerned about Norway but should look to the problems within the American Child Protection Services. He was correct that we have similar problems in the U.S. and I have focused on them in more than one post. Here is one important article that focuses on promoters of forced adoption in the U.S. At the same time, American parents seem to have a better chance not to lose their children forever. There is no question we have problems here that need resolution. In my neck of the woods, the CPS appears to attempt reunification of parents with their children in a good percentage of cases. I know that things are not as good in many places in the U.S. And we have had our own strange cases here in Garland County.

One of the strangest Norway style events here involved the Stanley family in January of 2015. You can click on this sentence, taken from one of the reports of the incident, to see the entire story:

“Suddenly the door opened … and there were six or eight of them, came in the door, marched in there,” Hal showed. “Fully armed Sheriff’s and people stood there and said we’re taking the children for 72 hours.”

All of the Stanley children were rightfully returned to the parents eventually.

Here is a report and video from five months after the Stanley children were taken.

This is the video from the report:

What is happening in Norway garnered worldwide protests in 2016. The same types of incidents have created protests in rural Arkansas and in many other places in America. “Childnapping” is happening in the U.S. Sweden, Denmark, and England are just a few of the other countries where this problem has gotten very real to parents who never suspected that their children would be taken from them. This is a “first world” problem that many in Norway argue has become an industry. Thus, the focus on Norway which has sociologists that argue that half of all parents are not able to care for their children as well as the government can.

An interesting new “front” on the war against human rights violations towards families is taking place in Poland. A group called Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture has taken an active role in several social questions, among them helping families against such injustices. It is a Polish Catholic organization and think tank. Not a fan of Catholic theology, I am a big fan of those trying to help others escape the long reach of certain governmental agencies that are in the business of wrecking families.

Ordo luris states in one of it’s publications that:

“…not only parents from Poland are asking for help from our lawyers, but also Poles from Germany, Norway and Great Britain, where the actions of oppressive child welfare offices lead to real tragedies. We cannot allow similar tragedies to take place in Poland as well.”

Here is one of the recent cases published by Ordo luris:


“Apart from co-creating pro-family law, it is equally important to provide comprehensive legal assistance to parents whose children are unjustly taken away. Recently, the quick reaction of Ordo Iuris lawyers led to the return of nine wrongly taken children to their mother, Mrs Ewa Bryła.

The children were placed in foster care, because the probation officer, after four months of supervision, arbitrarily stated that the mother was allegedly unable to raise them. The local Commune Social Welfare Center, which has been supporting the family for two years, did not agree with this opinion. The head of the center emphasized that during the long-term cooperation with the family, he had not noticed any gross irregularities that would authorize state authorities to take the children away from their mother. Its employees pointed out that the separation of the family was extremely harmful to the children and exposed them to breaking family ties with their mother, which are extremely strong.

Also, the doctor looking after the children did not say that they were neglected. On the other hand, the medical staff ensured that minors were guaranteed appropriate care. The local police pointed out that there were no interventions at Ewa’s house, no Blue Card procedure was initiated, and there was no addiction problem. In the family, there was only a problem with meeting the children’s compulsory schooling. However, Ewa, in cooperation with the family assistant and social workers, worked to overcome the emerging difficulties. The mother provided her children with the right conditions, encouraged them to learn, helped with homework and taught them good behavior.


The goal here is to keep people apprised of the issue to a degree that puts this subject beyond the suspicion that this is some conspiracy theory. The problem is real. It does not get the coverage it should because of all of the other societal problems facing us in our times.

Chris Reimers


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