A disturbing new case of ‘legal kidnapping’ has cast a spotlight on Norway’s child protection laws

At what point is it necessary to remove a child from his or her parents.

IF YOU stopped by for a visit, you wouldn’t think there was anything out of the ordinary about the Bodnariu family. 

Marius Bodnariu is a computer expert, who grew up in Romania. His wife, Ruth, is a children’s nurse. The Pentecostal Christian pair met while volunteering with street children together, and now, married in their early 30s, they have five beautiful kids aged between three months and 10 years old.

The family lived in a bright, spacious modern home in Naustdal, a farming community near the coastline in Norway’s northwest. Their house has huge windows which open out to large fields, and the whole place was filled with toys.

The Bodnariu family’s world has been torn apart.

The Bodnariu family’s world has been torn apart.Source:Facebook

But one Monday afternoon last November, their world was torn apart. Ruth was waiting for the school bus to bring her children home from school - and they never arrived. Instead, two black cars approached their farm. One drove up to the front door, and the men inside asked her to escort them to the police station.

The children were in the other car. Marius and Ruth, suspected of child abuse and religious indoctrination, were told that they would be taken away from them by Norway’s child welfare services. The kids - including the couple’s then-three-month-old baby boy - have since been placed in foster homes hours away from their parents.

The children all had close medical examinations, and not the slightest trace of a physical mark was found on them. There was no evidence to suggest they were being abused.

No prior investigations or emotional assessments had been made before the children were taken away.

In fact, the only thing that prompted them to take action was when one of the daughters reportedly told her school’s head teacher that her parents occasionally spanked her as an act of discipline.

Now, people are wondering if the country that’s been praised globally for its progressive stance on child protection has gone a step too far.

HOW DO NORWAY’S CHILD PROTECTION LAWS WORK?

In Australia, the idea of a parent spanking a child is open for debate, and many would consider it a minor form of discipline. At worst, parents and psychologists may frown upon it.

But in Norway, any sort of physical punishment inflicted upon a child is completely illegal, and as such, schools are required to report any suspected incidents to the government.

“We were questioned about violence in the home, and accused of that,” Ruth told the BBC. “We admitted to spanking the kids, but not every time they’d do something bad.

“They were all fine, but the law in Norway is very clear, down to the smallest details. Any physical correction is not allowed.”

Ruth and Marius are still not legally able to see their daughters.

Ruth and Marius are still not legally able to see their daughters.Source:Facebook

In Norway, every municipality is required to have an organisation devoted to child welfare protection, which conducts family investigations whenever these concerns are raised. Its broad name is The Child Welfare Service of Norway - or the Barnevernet.

The Norwegian Ambassador to Romania, Tove Bruvik Westberg, stressed that the Barnevernet is an independent body - no ministers can instruct the board in decisions related to child welfare. In fact, none of its decisions are subject to judicial review.

“The principle of the Child Welfare Service in Norway is that children should be raised by their parents in the home,” said Ambassador Westberg. “Where child welfare is in the picture, in eight of 10 cases children are raised by their parents, maybe with some assistance from child welfare.

“On the cases where there is an issued childcare order, the typical reasons will be abuse, neglect or violence.

“According to Norwegian law, hitting, slapping or spanking a child is not permitted. It’s clearly not permitted.”

The Barnevernet has been criticised by professional psychologists and social workers. Last year, 170 professionals demanded reform of the system in the form of a public letter, writing: “Too often we see that biological parents, who do not have all the world’s resources behind them, stand no chance against a big and powerful public apparatus. We see a tendency for decisions based on incomplete observation basis and tendentious interpretations.”

The Barnevernet is in place to stop child abuse, but some experts have argued they need to reform their methods.

The Barnevernet is in place to stop child abuse, but some experts have argued they need to reform their methods.Source:Supplied

HOW OFTEN ARE CHILDREN TAKEN AWAY IN THE SYSTEM?

According to the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Equality, the number of children removed from their parents in Norway rose by over 70 per cent between 2008 and 2013, from 945 to 1609. The most frequently cited reason for a care order now is “lack of parenting skills”.

Of course, child removal is an absolutely necessary form of action in some cases. Norway has been rocked by numerous shocking cases of child abuse.

In 2014, for example, a 32-year-old Lithuanian man was jailed over the murder of his eight-year-old stepdaughter three years prior. She was found dead in her mother’s home, a leather belt tightly wound tightly around her neck.

In a separate high-profile incident in 2005, the nation was shocked by a case in which an eight-year-old boy was beaten to death by his stepfather, the BBC reported.

But in other cases, like that of the Bondariu family, the circumstances are not quite as clear-cut.

In 2012, Indian couple Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya made world headlines after their two young children were sent to foster care in Norway.

It was reported that Norway’s Child Protective Service took objection to “cultural differences” such as the mother hand-feeding her children, which the authorities equated to force-feeding. They also reportedly objected to the children sleeping in the same bed as their parents.

The incident sparked a year-long legal battle, leading to severe public criticism of the Barnevernet by the Government of India, particularly as the Barnevernet would not give a time frame for the children’s release.

One-year-old Aishwarya Bhattacharya is held by her grandmother in a car shortly after her arrival at IGI airport in New Delhi, India, a year after Norwegian officials took her away.

One-year-old Aishwarya Bhattacharya is held by her grandmother in a car shortly after her arrival at IGI airport in New Delhi, India, a year after Norwegian officials took her away.Source:AFP

Norway’s public broadcaster has reported that the majority of the cases under investigation involve immigrant families like that of the Bodnarius. They said this is because they often come from cultures where physical punishment of children is more common.

Mari Trommald, Norway’s Director of Children, Youth and Family Affairs, told Press TV that taking children away is a last resort. “We try our best to try foster families with the same background as the children, but this can be challenging,” she told Press TV.

“We still make sure the child gets to learn their family’s language and religion.”

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE BODNARIU CHILDREN NOW?

In February, the family was allowed to reunite for the first time since the children were taken three months prior.

According to a support website for the family, a Norwegian judge abruptly gave the couple custody of their baby, and allowed them to see the other two boys twice a week.

It is unclear whether or not the couple are allowed to see their daughters.

The children are now in emergency custody, but next month a panel will decide whether or not they should be returned to their parents.

In the meantime, tens of thousands of people - both within the country and around the world, and particularly in Marius’ home country of Romania - are rallying against the Norwegian state to see the Bodnariu children returned to their parents. They deem the Barnevernet’s actions a form of “legal kidnapping”, and argue it’s a case of power taken to its extreme.

 

Facebook support page called “Norway Return the children to Bodnariu Family” has been set up, and has more than 28,000 supporters. An online petition has received more than 60,000 signatures.

Anders Hendriksen, the head of section at the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, likened these protests to “cultural misunderstanding”, which he said plays a part in the negative reactions.

“The Norwegian Child Welfare is a system which can be difficult to understand for foreigners who settle in Norway. It may be challenging for them to understand that a public institution like the Norwegian Child Welfare can intervene in the private life of a family, and take over the care of the children,” he said.

“The Norwegian Child Welfare Act’s main purpose is to ensure that children who live in conditions that can harm their health and development are given necessary help and care. The Act applies to all children in Norway, regardless of their residential status, background or nationality or citizenship.”

Until next month’s hearing, Ruth and Marius will just have to wait desperately until they can be with their children.

 
Source : http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/kids/a-disturbing-new-case-of-legal-kidnapping-has-cast-a-spotlight-on-norways-child-protection-laws/news-story/6ba9cffbb11adb8340d3b22609c3c8be
 

School authorities ignored kindergarten 'child-on-child' sexual abuse, mother claims


 

A South Australian mother says school and government authorities swept aside her family’s concerns when they discovered a boy at kindergarten had sexually abused their child.

News Corp reports the mother – who cannot be named to protect her child’s identity – said school staff dismissed the abusive behaviour as normal.

Her four-year-old child was one of 15 allegedly exposed to alleged ‘child-on-child’ abuse at a small community in South Australia’s south east.

“My child was repeatedly abused and it was ignored,” she said.

“Staff had told parents that ‘mothers are making up stories’ and 'it was all age appropriate.'"

"One teacher had said to a mother — whose child disclosed extremely disturbing behaviour — that, ‘there is nothing that we can see about the boy in question’s behaviour that is of a concern, it’s absolutely normal behaviour.'"

The boy is still enrolled at the kindergarten and now requires constant supervision. His behaviour is said to have extended to out of school care.

Children subjected to the abusive behaviour have moved to other kindergartens, some of which are long distances away.

The mothers complaints echo shocking revelations raised in a Senate submission by University of South Australia Emeritus Professor Freda Briggs , who said easy access to pornography was driving an increase in sexualised behaviour in young children.

Professor Briggs wrote last month of the incident in which 15 children had been subject to ‘child-on-child abuse’ in South Australia. 

“The staff allegedly ignored anal and oral sex accompanied by threats and secrecy, dismissing it as “normal developmentally appropriate behaviour,'" Professor Briggs wrote.

“Parents complained to the CEO of South Australia’s Department of Child Development and Education (DECD) and Minister Susan Close.

“Parents removed victims from the kindergarten for their safety but the next nearest facility involves a 240km drive each day.”

According to Professor Briggs, Minister Susan Close confirmed a ‘police driven’ rule in which teachers were instructed not to ask questions in such cases through fear they may contaminate evidence. 

“It is alleged that no-one asked him where he had learned to play these ‘sex games’", Professor Briggs wrote.

“The Minister agrees that this rule was “police driven”. However police are not interested if the only witnesses to abuse are young or disabled and lack the sophisticated communication skills needed to undergo rigorous cross examination by barristers as witnesses in an adult criminal court.”

An Education Department spokesperson told News Corp procedures had been updated to deal with the rising incidences of sexualised behaviour in children.

"In response to the increasing prevalence and complexity of these behaviours, the department has updated procedures to ensure the response by individual staff and the agency is timely and appropriate. 

“Individualised approaches are put in place as each matter has its own layers of complexity requiring a very sensitive and empathetic response.”

The spokesperson said the department was providing ongoing support to the families and children involved with the kindergarten.

*** UPDATE: Another foster child left for dead by Tweed Heads child protection caseworkers

Since publication of this article in 2013, neither DHS or any NGO have taken any responsibility for this young man.  He has been left homless, left with drug addicts receiving hefty foster care allowances to pay their drug habit, and he has been jailed twice.  All at the ripe old age of 18.  What hope is there for Aron, who was ripped from his mothers arms and left to rot in foster care until he was old enough to run away from the disfunctional placement he was given by people who claim to work in the best interest of the child. 

His mother begged for help for many years, has shifted from area to area after being told by NGOs that they are going to reunify her and her children.  What a cruel scam to run on a mum who only wanted the best for her kids.  None of the four children removed have ever been debriefed, they were just removed from their mothers life where there was no evidence of abuse or neglect and handed around to various foster carers and agencies where everybody flourished except them.

When will DoCS be held accountable for their crimes against humanity?

COAG recommends national registration of social workers

A national registration system for social workers is being urged by the South Australian Government in the wake of damning coronial findings after the tragic death of Adelaide girl Chloe Valentine.  ***(In fact, the social workers themselves are looking at adopting a "self-regulated" model of oversight, which will do nothing to help protect children or ensure that social workers are abiding by the laws.  Afterall, it's no different to the law society of each state regulating lawyers that pay to run the law society.*)

Denver Human Services caseworker claims she was forced to lie about placing child with sex offender

DENVER - A Denver Human Services caseworker has claimed under oath that she was forced to place a child in a home where he was later abused. She claims that she expressed concerns about the decision, but her supervisor told her she would be fired if she went "against the department."

The boy, who was 12 at the time, was placed in the care of his father, Tiercel Duerson, despite Duerson's prior conviction in 2005 for attempted sexual assault on his 15-year-old stepdaughter. Duerson refused to complete his sex offender treatment program and eventually served time in jail.

A DHS investigation later found that Duerson sexually assaulted the boy during the placement. A criminal investigation into those incidents is pending. Duerson is currently in custody on charges of failing to register as a sex offender.

Ludicrous reasons why good and fit mothers have lost custody

Iif you have a guardian ad litem (GAL) or child custody evaluator assigned or appointed to your case that is unscrupulous, ill-trained, incompetent or biased either toward a father or a form of custody, there is virtually no way for a mother to truly "prepare" for a child custody evaluator. If you have been unfortunate enough to have this type of evaluator, be very prepared to find other documentation, evidence, witnesses, and experts with superior credentials to refute the report and offer alternate views to the court. You can not let these sorts of evaluations stand. Here are some of the more ludicrous documented reasons given by evaluators or judges in numerous cases where good and fit mothers lost custody:

  • Breastfeeding--the mothers either wanted to and it was determined an alienating behavior, or they did not choose to breastfeed and it was termed child neglect or indifference
  • Children got head lice during a period of mother's care.
  • Too many people (all relatives) living in one home (i.e. mom had to return home to family to gain economic and emotional support)
  • Father remarried and married family deemed superior to single motherhood
  • Father's job and education deemed superior--sometimes even though mom sacrificed her goals and dreams so father could obtain same.
  • Not desiring 50/50 custody or other joint custodial arrangements
  • Not desiring to give up the marital home
  • Leaving the marital home while fleeing from abuse, especially if she left the children behind.
  • Going to church
  • Going to church too often
  • Not going to church

DoCS cruel tactics sending parents over the edge

With so much hoohaa over domestic violence at present, we thought it wise to show the link between it and removal of children from mothers.

Six years ago a beautiful young mother had her four children removed - after she left their violent father and seeked assistance from a state funded women's domestic violence shelter.  The reason for the removal of the children, according to court documents submitted by the caseworker, was that the mother breached parenting orders, forcing her to remove the children.

So what was it in this breach, that was so bad that the children including a young baby, had to be so harshly intervened with and separated for life? 

The mother had been beaten up by another woman at the refuge and after not being provided any assistance, left, as any mother would who was trying to protect her children from violence.

The Children's Charter of Rights

  • "You have the right to have contact with your family and community." - Doesn't say how often and doesn't say how or which community became the child's at which point or after how long.

  • "You have the right to be told why you are in care and keep a record of your time in care." - Doesn't say you have the right to be told this by anyone outside the department or if the whole story gets told. And they can keep their own record?

  • "You have the right to ask for any information that is being kept about you, to read your file and add information to your file."  - You've seen these files.. they're rampant with black markers. Doesn't say "all info".  Doesn't say they'll keep was what added.

"Children's Rights crushed by High Court decision"

Real and lasting damage is done to many children involved in Family Law and child protection systems and this will increase since the High Court decision on 7 August 2012.

This decision effectively reinforced the Family Law and other jurisdictions position that children can't be allowed to speak for themselves.  So if you can speak or write - and if you disagree with this decision - now's the time to speak!  Tell your local pollie, tell the media, tell your friends and rellies!  

Most people would have heard about the Queensland Four - The sisters who apparently felt they had not had a fair hearing in the Family Law process.  They found media outlets brave enough to carry their story.  Other media outlets tried to damp down any possibility that the kids might have a point.   Justice for Children knows there are thousands of other kids who want to tell their story but can't because nobody in the system is listening to them.  The number one issue for Justice for Children Australia is that children are not given a real voice and a real choice in the current adversarial system.

Queensland Solicitor-General brought up this issue in the High Court case.  Not to prove that the adversarial system was the wrong forum for assessing children's future but to confirm that kids don't have a voice in it. 

"Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure"

November 2011 (full text)

The States parties to the present Protocol,

Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, the recognition of the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Noting that the States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”) recognize the rights set forth in it to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status,

Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Reaffirming also the status of the child as a subject of rights and as a human being with dignity and with evolving capacities,

Recognizing that children’s special and dependent status may create real difficulties for them in pursuing remedies for violations of their rights,

Considering that the present Protocol will reinforce and complement national and regional mechanisms allowing children to submit complaints for violations of their rights,

Recognizing that the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration to be respected in pursuing remedies for violations of the rights of the child, and that such remedies should take into account the need for child-sensitive procedures at all levels,

Encouraging States parties to develop appropriate national mechanisms to enable a child whose rights have been violated to have access to effective remedies at the domestic level,

Recalling the important role that national human rights institutions and other relevant specialized institutions, mandated to promote and protect the rights of the child, can play in this regard,

Considering that, in order to reinforce and complement such national mechanisms and to further enhance the implementation of the Convention and, where applicable, the Optional Protocols thereto on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and on the involvement of children in armed conflict, it would be appropriate to enable the Committee on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter referred to as “the Committee”) to carry out the functions provided for in the present Protocol,

Have agreed as follows:

Part I General provisions

Article 1 Competence of the Committee on the Rights of the Child

1.  A State party to the present Protocol recognizes the competence of the Committee as provided for by the present Protocol.

2. The Committee shall not exercise its competence regarding a State party to the present Protocol on matters concerning violations of rights set forth in an instrument to which that State is not a party.

3. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State that is not a party to the present Protocol.

Article 2 General principles guiding the functions of the Committee

In fulfilling the functions conferred on it by the present Protocol, the Committee shall be guided by the principle of the best interests of the child. It shall also have regard for the rights and views of the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

Article 3 Rules of procedure

1. The Committee shall adopt rules of procedure to be followed when exercising the functions conferred on it by the present Protocol. In doing so, it shall have regard, in particular, for article 2 of the present Protocol in order to guarantee child-sensitive procedures.

2. The Committee shall include in its rules of procedure safeguards to prevent the manipulation of the child by those acting on his or her behalf and may decline to examine any communication that it considers not to be in the child’s best interests.

Article 4 Protection measures

1. A State party shall take all appropriate steps to ensure that individuals under its jurisdiction are not subjected to any human rights violation, ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of communications or  cooperation with the Committee pursuant to the present Protocol.

2. The identity of any individual or group of individuals concerned shall not be revealed publicly without their express consent.

Part II Communications procedure

Article 5  Individual communications

1. Communications may be submitted by or on behalf of an individual or group of individuals, within the jurisdiction of a State  party, claiming to be victims of a violation by that State party of any of the rights set forth in any of the following instruments to which that State is a party:

(a) The Convention;

(b) The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;

(c) The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

2. Where a communication is submitted on behalf of  an individual or group of individuals, this shall be with their consent unless the author can justify acting on their behalf without such consent.

Article 6  Interim measures

1. At any time after the receipt of a communication and before a determination on the merits has been reached, the Committee may transmit to the State party concerned for its urgent consideration a request that the State party take such interim measures as may be necessary in exceptional circumstances to avoid possible irreparable damage to the victim or victims of the alleged violations.

2. Where the Committee exercises its discretion under paragraph 1 of the present article, this does not imply a determination on admissibility or on the merits of the communication.

Article 7  Admissibility

The Committee shall consider a communication inadmissible when:

(a) The communication is anonymous;

(b) The communication is not in writing;

(c) The communication constitutes an abuse of the right of submission of such communications or is incompatible with the provisions of the Convention and/or the Optional Protocols thereto;

(d) The same matter has already been examined by the  Committee or has been or is being examined under another procedure of international investigation or settlement;

(e) All available domestic remedies have not been exhausted. This shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged or unlikely to bring effective relief;

(f) The communication is manifestly ill-founded or not sufficiently substantiated;

(g) The facts that are the subject of the communication occurred prior to the entry into force of the present Protocol for the State party concerned, unless those facts continued after that date;

(h) The communication is not submitted within one year after the exhaustion of domestic remedies, except in cases where the author can demonstrate that it had not been possible to submit the communication within that time limit.

Article 8  Transmission of the communication

1. Unless the Committee considers a communication inadmissible without reference to the State party concerned, the Committee shall bring any communication submitted to it under the present Protocol confidentially to the attention of the State party concerned as soon as possible.

2. The State party shall submit to the Committee written explanations or statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that it may have provided.

The State party shall submit its response as soon as possible and within six months.

Article 9   Friendly settlement

1. The Committee shall make available its good offices to the parties concerned with a view to reaching a friendly settlement of the matter on the basis of respect for the obligations set forth in the Convention and/or the Optional Protocols thereto.

2. An agreement on a friendly settlement reached under the auspices of the Committee closes consideration of the communication under the present Protocol.

Article 10  Consideration of communications

1. The Committee shall consider communications received under the present Protocol as quickly as possible, in the light of all documentation submitted to it, provided that this documentation is transmitted to the parties concerned.

2. The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications received under the present Protocol.

3. Where the Committee has requested interim measures, it shall expedite the consideration of the communication.

4. When examining communications alleging violations of economic, social or cultural rights, the Committee shall consider the reasonableness of the steps taken by the State party in accordance with article 4 of  the Convention. In doing so, the Committee shall bear in mind that the State party may adopt a range of possible policy measures for the implementation of the economic, social and cultural rights in the Convention.

5. After examining a communication, the Committee shall, without delay, transmit its views on the communication, together with its recommendations, if any, to the parties concerned.

Article 11   Follow-up

1. The State party shall give due consideration to  the views of the Committee, together with its recommendations, if any, and shall submit to the Committee a written response, including information on any action taken and envisaged in the light of the views and recommendations of the Committee. The State party shall submit its response as soon as possible and within six months.

2. The Committee may invite the State party to submit further information about any measures the State party has taken in response to its views or recommendations or implementation of a friendly settlement agreement, if any, including as deemed appropriate by the Committee, in the State party’s  subsequent reports under article 44 of the Convention, article 12 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography or article 8 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict, where applicable.

Article 12    Inter-State communications

1. A State party to the present Protocol may, at any time, declare that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications in which a State party claims that another State party is not fulfilling its obligations under any of the following instruments to which the State is a party:

(a) The Convention;

(b) The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;

(c) The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

2. The Committee shall not receive communications concerning a State party that has not made such a declaration or communications from a State party that has not made such a declaration.

3. The Committee shall make available its good offices to the States parties concerned with a view to a friendly solution of the matter on the basis of the respect for the obligations set forth in the Convention and the Optional Protocols thereto.

4. A declaration under paragraph 1 of the present article shall be deposited by the States parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter that is the subject of a communication already transmitted under the present article; no further communications by any State party shall be received under the present article after the notification of withdrawal of the declaration has been received by the Secretary-General, unless the State party concerned has made a new declaration.

Part III Inquiry procedure

Article 13   Inquiry procedure for grave or systematic violations

1. If the Committee receives reliable information indicating grave or systematic violations by a State party of rights set forth in the Convention or in the Optional Protocols thereto on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography or on the involvement of children in armed conflict, the Committee shall invite the State party to cooperate in the examination of the  information and, to this end, to submit observations without delay with regard to the information concerned.

2. Taking into account any observations that may have been submitted by the State party concerned, as well as any other reliable information available to it, the Committee may designate one or more of its members to conduct an inquiry and to report urgently to the Committee. Where warranted and with the consent of the State party, the inquiry may include a visit to its territory.

3. Such an inquiry shall be conducted confidentially, and the cooperation of the State party shall be sought at all stages of the proceedings.

4. After examining the findings of such an inquiry, the Committee shall transmit without delay these findings to the State party concerned, together with any comments and recommendations.

5. The State party concerned shall, as soon as possible and within six months of receiving the findings, comments and recommendations transmitted by the Committee, submit its observations to the Committee.

6. After such proceedings have been completed with regard to an inquiry made in accordance with paragraph 2 of the present article, the Committee may, after consultation with the State party concerned, decide to include a summary account of the results of the proceedings in its report provided for in article 16 of the present Protocol.

7. Each State party may, at the time of signature or ratification of the present Protocol or accession thereto, declare that it does not recognize the competence of the Committee provided for in the present article in respect of the rights set forth in some or all of the instruments listed in paragraph 1.

8. Any State party having made a declaration in accordance with paragraph 7 of the present article may, at any time, withdraw this declaration by notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article 14   Follow-up to the inquiry procedure

1. The Committee may, if necessary, after the end of the period of six months  referred to in article 13, paragraph 5, invite the State party concerned to inform it of the measures taken and envisaged in response to an  inquiry conducted under article 13 of the present Protocol.

2. The Committee may invite the State party to submit further information about any measures that the State party has taken in response to an inquiry conducted under article 13, including as deemed appropriate by the Committee, in the State party’s subsequent reports under article 44 of the  Convention, article 12 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the sale of  children, child prostitution and child pornography or article 8 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict, where applicable.

Part IV Final provisions

Article 15   International assistance and cooperation

1. The Committee may transmit, with the consent of the State party concerned, to United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes and other competent bodies its views or recommendations concerning communications and inquiries that indicate a need for technical advice or assistance, together with the State party’s observations and suggestions, if any, on these views or recommendations.

2. The Committee may also bring to the attention of such bodies, with the consent of the State party concerned, any matter arising out of communications considered under the present Protocol that may assist them in deciding, each within its field of competence, on the advisability of international measures likely to contribute to assisting States parties in achieving progress in the implementation of the rights recognized in the Convention and/or the Optional Protocols thereto.

Article 16   Report to the General Assembly

The Committee shall include in its report submitted every two years to the General Assembly in accordance with article 44, paragraph 5, of the Convention a summary of its activities under the present Protocol.

Article 17   Dissemination of and information on the Optional Protocol

Each State party undertakes to make widely known and to disseminate the present Protocol and to facilitate access to information about the views and recommendations of the Committee, in particular with regard to matters involving the State party, by appropriate and active means and in accessible formats to adults and children alike, including those with disabilities.

Article 18  Signature, ratification and accession

1. The present Protocol is open for signature to any State that has signed, ratified or acceded to the Convention or either of the first two Optional Protocols thereto.

2. The present Protocol is subject to ratification by any State that has ratified or acceded to the Convention or either of the first two Optional Protocols thereto. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

3. The present Protocol shall be open to accession  by any State that has ratified or acceded to the Convention or either of the first two Optional Protocols thereto.

4. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General.

Article 19  Entry into force

1. The present Protocol shall enter into force three months after the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession.

2. For each State ratifying the present Protocol or acceding to it after the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the present Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or accession.

Article 20   Violations occurring after the entry into force

1. The Committee shall have competence solely in respect of violations by the State party of any of the rights set forth in the Convention and/or the first two Optional Protocols thereto occurring after the entry into force of the present Protocol.

2. If a State becomes a party to the present Protocol after its entry into force, the obligations of that State vis-à-vis the Committee shall relate only to violations of the rights set forth in the Convention and/or the first two Optional Protocols thereto occurring after the entry into force of the present Protocol for the State concerned.

Article 21   Amendments

1. Any State party may propose an amendment to the present Protocol and submit it to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.  The Secretary-General shall communicate any proposed amendments to States parties with a request to be notified whether they favour a meeting of States parties for the purpose of considering and deciding upon the proposals. In the event that, within four months of the date of such communication, at least one third of the States parties favour such a meeting, the Secretary-General shall convene the meeting under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of two thirds of the States parties present and voting shall be submitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly for approval and, thereafter, to all States parties for acceptance.

2. An amendment adopted and approved in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the number of instruments of acceptance deposited reaches two thirds of the number of States parties at the date of adoption of the amendment. Thereafter, the amendment shall enter into force for any State party on the thirtieth day following the deposit of its own instrument of acceptance. An amendment shall be binding only on those States parties that have accepted it.

Article 22   Denunciation

1. Any State party may denounce the present Protocol at any time by written notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The denunciation shall take effect one year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.

2. Denunciation shall be without prejudice to the continued application of the provisions of the present Protocol to any communication submitted under articles 5 or 12 or any inquiry initiated under article 13 before the effective date of denunciation.

Article 23   Depositary and notification by the Secretary-General

1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall be the depositary of the present Protocol.

2. The Secretary-General shall inform all States of:

(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under the present Protocol;

(b) The date of entry into force of the present Protocol and of any amendment thereto under article 21;

(c) Any denunciation under article 22 of the present Protocol.

Article 24   Languages

1. The present Protocol, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.

2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Protocol to all States. 
(Source : http://www.humanium.org/en/convention/protocol-3/optional-protocol-crc-communications-procedure/)

How are your children's rights implemented?

Let's give you an example.  On August 25th 2009 at an emergency meeting held at DoCS Sutherland due to an assault/mental/emotional abuse of a little boy by his carer, it was requested the sibling group be given their Charter of Rights Booklets ASAP as all children in OOHC must be given this BOOKLET.

In attendance at this meeting was the case-manager & case-worker for DoCs Sutherland along with the Director of Youth and Children for Catholiccare and the Catholiccare case-worker who we might add had never heard of the Childrens Charter of Rights Booklet or the Childrens Charter of Rights.

Dozens in CPS have criminal records

Drug possession, domestic violence, repeatedly driving drunk, assault with a deadly weapon – any one of these charges or convictions could lead child protective services workers to remove children from a home or force a parent into counselling. But all of those crimes and many others appear in the backgrounds of employees of Sacramento County's Child Protective Services, a Bee investigation has found.

First of two parts

"The four options available to anyone unfortunate enough to be tagged by the "Department of Child Abduction""

Option 1: If you can get access to a lot of dollars, get a decent QC. The earlier in the game, the better. But, even then, it depends on what has already been said and done by the child slavers, as this tends to create a problem, even for a seasoned lawyer. The child slavers have a beaut knack for dragging things on, if they really desire your child, to break the emotional connection between parent and child, to control the child, and indirectly, you... and this to you, means lengthy heartache and a lot more money. So, to keep it short, with a QC, you'd be looking at anywhere from $50,000 to $1,000,000 to wasted money and still no children home.. until they 18 and totally stuffed physically and psychologically.

"Death in care criticism "

THE State Government will consider new safety measures for psychiatric patients in care after a Coroner hit out at a "fatalistic professional attitude" to the risk of suicide.

Helen Jeffrey, 30, suffocated herself with a plastic bag provided by Nambour General Hospital staff on March 24 last year.

She had been admitted to the psychiatric intensive care unit after attempting suicide and became the second sectioned psychiatric patient in two years in Queensland to end her life using a plastic bag.

Maroochydore Coroner Ken Taylor last week made nine recommendations over Ms Jeffrey's death to Health Minister Stephen Robertson – expressing surprise that hospital staff had not identified plastic bags as a potential suicide aid.

"I have felt somewhat uneasy about what I shall, for the sake of convenience, term a fatalistic professional attitude towards suicide risk," Mr Taylor wrote.

A spokesman for Mr Robertson said the Minister was awaiting a copy of the recommendations which include a call to remove all objects "not uncommonly used as a means of suicide or attempted suicide".

Mr Taylor also recommended that Mr Robertson examine the feasibility of fitting remote pulse-monitoring wrist bands to all psychiatric patients held in state care.

Staff psychiatrist Keith Muir told the inquest that, in 35 years of clinical experience, he had never encountered such a death.

Asked by Mr Taylor if he was alarmed by the presence of plastic bags in psychiatric units, Dr Muir said: "Yes and no."

"The fact is that people who are determined to kill themselves . . . you know, that old expression, 'Where there is a will, there is a way'," Dr Muir said.

Mr Taylor said it was with a "considerable degree of incredulity" that he received the evidence that plastic bags had not been identified as a potential suicide aid before Ms Jeffrey's death.

Although Ms Jeffrey's family was entitled to be disappointed, the Coroner made no criticism of the standard of care.

"I am satisfied there was no wilful neglect," he said.

The Health Minister's office said plastic bags were already being removed "where ever practical" from psychiatric wards in line with precautions triggered by Ms Jeffrey's death.

But the spokesman said it would be difficult to eliminate their presence because plastic bags were necessary to line "communal" bins for potentially infectious or unhygienic waste.  (Source :http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/death-in-care-criticism/story-e6freoof-1111112550110)

"Grandmother questions foster care death by holding Leduc protest"

Delonna Sullivan dod 4 mths in Alberta Canada foster care 216caA Warburg area woman isn't giving up on her granddaughter's memory and is leading a charge to look into Alberta's foster care deaths.

The women took to Leduc's main street to protest in front of the Alberta Family and Child Services office Friday, July 15, with around a dozen supporters and hundreds of signs, some of which read "stop killing our children" "work with families not against them" and "Secrets? What are you hiding and covering up?"

"On April 5, a social worker from this office went to my daughter's place to apprehend her roommate's (two) children," the grandmother explained, speaking in front of the Leduc office. "As an afterthought they apprehended my daughter's baby, and refused to let any family member take that baby and just stuck her in a foster home on the south side of Edmonton."

An affidavit signed by a social worker two days later, on April 7, claimed that the child needed to be removed as "the infant has been subjected to disharmony in the home and the child is left with inexperienced babysitters" and her mother "appears to suffer from an alcohol addiction."

On April 8, the grandmother visited the baby at the foster parent's house with her daughter. She said that they were distressed by what they saw.

"She had poop on the side of her bum from not being cleaned up properly previously. She had such a diaper rash it was disgusting," she said.

"I asked (the foster parent) how long she had diarrhea. When we saw her on Friday she had diarrhea for three days. And I asked if she had taken her to a doctor and (the foster parent) said 'no, if she's not better by Monday I'll make an appointment.' Monday she died. She let that baby lay there and suffer for five days without taking her for any sort of medical attention."

"Qld reviews foster child's crash death"

Queensland's child safety minister says there will be a full review into the case of a foster child who died when she crashed her carer's car.

Police say they were not chasing the 13-year-old when she crashed a car she had taken from her carer's home into a tree at Redbank Plains on Wednesday night.

The officers were on their way to the home the girl was sharing with foster carers when they spotted her at traffic lights.

They activated their flashing lights and the girl sped through a red light but officers chose not to pursue her, Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers has said.

Child Safety Minister Tracy Davis said the girl was known to authorities and a full review of the case is under way.

On completion it will be reviewed by the Commission for Children and Young People, she said.

The police Ethical Standards Command is also investigating the incident.

Officers were headed to the girl's Collingwood Park home after an emergency call saying the girl had become violent and had taken the car.

Mr Leavers said they spotted the vehicle at an intersection and flashed their red and blue lights.

But they made the decision not to follow her after she ran the red light.

"Police immediately stopped the intercept and got out of their vehicle and discontinued immediately," Mr Leavers told the ABC.

"The 13-year-old has taken a corner and lost control of the car and crashed into a tree and was killed instantly."

Foster Care Queensland executive director Bryan Smith said many people would be affected by the tragedy, including her foster carers, birth parents, and child protection officers involved in her care.

He said the girl's foster carers would be offered counselling.  (Source : http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/qld-reviews-foster-childs-crash-death-20120412-1wsu5.html)

 

"Minister Bhullar says inquiry into deaths of kids in government care not needed"

Manmeet Bhullar says no enquiry is needed. Manmeet Bhullar, who will take over the portfolio when the newly shuffled cabinet is sworn in next week, said Wednesday December 18 2013 he doesn't see the need to hold an independent public inquiry into the matter, as demanded by all three opposition parties. Great concerns the 33-year-old Bhullar, who is moving from the Service Alberta portfolio, lacks the experience to shepherd Human Services, which handles child and youth issues, social programs and homelessness. 

No inquiry means we do not think these children's lives matter, so much so that we can not even be bothered to look into their deaths. There are no words to describe how disgusted I am.

Whatever it takes to keep this out of the public's view. This government's actions speak far louder than their words will ever speak. People with nothing to hide DO NOT act the way these people do. They've been everything but forthcoming with information and openness.

Sources:
http://www.calgaryherald.com/minister+Bhullar+says+inquiry+into+deaths+kids+government+care+needed/9275775/story.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manmeet_Bhullar
https://www.facebook.com/manmeetbhullarmla  (Source : http://www.advocacycanada.com/Home/AdvocacyCanadaCampaignDetails/17)

"Parents stunned by news of inquiry into baby’s death while in care"

Paul Jean holds his daughter, Dani Isabella Jean, shortly before she died on May 4, 2013. She was found tangled in her foster mother's bed sheets. EDMONTON - Paul Jean believed for more than a year that his six-week-old daughter had died in foster care from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

From a newspaper report in August he learned she’d actually become tangled in her foster parents’ bed sheets, and died by accident. He also believed for a long time that a Child and Youth Advocate’s report into Dani Jean’s death, released in August 2014, was the final word from the government. But on Saturday, also from a newspaper report, he discovered that the province had ordered a fatality inquiry into her death.

"Baby boy dies after being hit by government (DoCS / FACS) car in driveway of Ipswich home"

Braxton Nowlan who was run over at his grandmothers driveway in Clarke St, Ripley.

UPDATE: A Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services spokesman has this afternoon confirmed that a department car was involved in an incident yesterday afternoon in which a young boy died..

“The department is providing the utmost care and support to both family members and staff,” he said.

“The department will review this incident and this review will also be externally scrutinised. The police are continuing their investigation and will also prepare a report for the coroner’s office.”

The Department of Child Safety said due to ongoing investigations it did not intend on commenting further.

Earlier:15 month-old boy killed yesterday when he was hit by a car reversing down the driveway of his Ipswich home has been remembered as a “happy-go-lucky” child with a “smile that could lighten up a sad face”.

Braxton James Nowlan, who would have turned two in August, was hit and killed on the driveway outside his Ripley home by a government car in the tragic accident.

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