The Brutal History of Child Confiscation by the State by Cristina Nicoli

In this gripping essay, Cristina Nicoli, an Australian of Romanian origin, traces Norway’s notorious child confiscation practices to historical instances of state-sponsored child removal. A grotesque picture emerges of brutal episodes of forced child removal over the last century all over the Western world, and its colonies, from Europe to Latin America to Australia, whether in the name of racial cleansing, or educating, ‘civilising’, integrating, or politically indoctrinating children.

EU Plays Soft Empire Games With Global Child Rights by Dr. Kaustav Bhattacharyya

Dr. Kaustav Bhattacharyya presents international “standards-setting” as a tactic by the European Union (EU) for exerting influence around the world. He argues that child welfare measures and best practices are an important tool in the EU’s exercise of “soft” empire. Dr.  Bhattacharyya cautions that we in India should not blindly adopt the EU’s universalizing measures in child policy as research is showing that they have resulted in discrimination against immigrants, marginalized communities and ethnic minorities.

Global Child Rights Conventions Misunderstand Children and Undermine the Family to their Detriment by Suranya Aiyar

The Trump Administration should take up the worldwide fight against injustices by authoritarian and anti-family child protection services, a cause already espoused by many in the President’s base. The threat of global child rights conventions arises once again for India as the USA mistakenly pressures us to sign the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention). Contrary to what US consular officials in India are saying, the Hague Convention is not limited to inter-parental custody disputes. Going beyond parental custody, the Hague Convention grants powers to any “institution” or “other body” to make cross-country custodial claims over children. This would allow child protection agencies to chase both parents around the world to forcibly extradite their children. The Hague Convention is part of an array of anti-family and globalist regulations that aim to give the State supra-custodial rights over children. What Trump supporters in the USA say against globalism echoes with many of us CPS critics as we struggle to understand how the well-meaning effort to help abused and disadvantaged children went so wrong. If there has ever been an example of the folly of internationalism and unchecked state intervention in private life, it is CPS.

State Surveillance For Every Child In Scotland?

Scottish activist June Conway describes the controversy around a Scottish law, the “Named Person Scheme”, which appoints a state official to keep all children and their parents under state scrutiny and mandatory reporting from conception till majority. This scheme was developed under the Scottish government’s ‘Getting It Right For Every Child’ Policy (GIRFEC) which the Scottish government describes on its website as an approach to child policy that “has been built up” from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). It is interesting to see how the UNCRC was interpreted in Scotland to develop a plan to keep families under constant and all-pervasive state scrutiny, and how parents were the last to find out about it. Though the UNCRC pays lip service to a child’s rights to its family, not a single country has interpreted its provisions to develop schemes that would strengthen vulnerable families. In practice its implementation in country after country has meant the establishment of laws and agencies that police the family. Its provisions have been used to justify increasingly swift and permanent severance of a child’s ties with its natural family.

The Global Child Rights Model in India by Nandita Rao

“It is for the first time in the year 2000 with the amendment of the Juvenile Justice Act that the State in India stepped into the lives of families…..committees have been empowered to take any decision that they consider to be in the welfare of the child, overriding even the wishes of the child and the parents…..I have observed that both Child Welfare Committees and Courts, endorse keeping the child with the family as the first option. The decisions are normally to reinforce the family rather then to separate the child from the family. However, unfortunately, there is no mandate in the law to suggest that this should be the first option. It is merely the current social conditioning of the decision-makers. I have also observed that often teenage children who run away from home, within weeks of staying at a State-run institution, choose to return to their parents, and are allowed and encouraged to do so. Acknowledging that often the problems are not irreconcilable, but circumstantial. It is time we reconsider the role of the State in the life of a child.”

How Norwegian experts came to reject biological kinship as relevant in child welfare policy by Professor Marianne Skanland

Professor Marianne Haslev Skanland writes about how experts in Norway came to ask for the exclusion of considerations of biological kinship – «the biological principle» – in formulating child welfare policy there. Indian readers will be intrigued to see just how far things can go once you set on the path of child rights as envisioned in the developed West today.