Historical Versions of State Sponsored Child Confiscation

In the last two and a half centuries, we have seen state-sponsored child confiscation in many forms, mostly perpetrated by colonial and authoritarian regimes. We will be conducting research and comment in this area, as it has important lessons for any design of child rights in the present time. In the meantime, we are putting a few articles and suggestions for further study. Special thanks to Cristina Nicoli of Australia for suggesting these links.

Historical Versions of State Sponsored Child Confiscation

Children as State Property in Europe: An Ancient Legacy by Kaustav Bhattacharyya


This article startlingly anticipates the bizarre and tragic drama that unfolded in April 2018 in Britain in the case of Baby Alfie Evans. It would appear that children as state property has an ancient legacy in Europe.

Mistaken experiments in child-raising outside the family by Lars-Toralf Storstrand


A case for abandoning utopian communitarian ideals in child welfare for a balanced approach that gives due consideration to family and love in child-raising.

Plato as the Forebear of Draconian Modern Child Protection by Dr Kaustav Bhattacharyya


In article Dr. Kaustav Bhattacharyya traces key themes in today’s child protection thinking of the West to the ideas of …

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…

Switzerland’s ‘Contract Children’


A television programme about children taken from their families to be used as farm labour in Switzerland between 1850 to 1980.

Australia’s ‘Stolen Generation’


Published in Discover Stories on the website australianstogether.org.au.

1950s Inuit Children Of Greenland Taken By Denmark


Reports of social experiments in Denmark on Inuit children taken from their families in Greenland.

How other countries have tried to reconcile with native peoples by Sahar Fatimah, The Globe and Mail, 2015


"Called the "Stolen Generations," indigenous children and their families were routinely separated from the beginning of colonization in the 1700s. Governments and churches forced assimilation and conversion to Christianity by placing children in training institutes ..."

Argentina’s stolen children: Decades after junta, people deal with their stolen identities, RT Documentary, 2015


Although the family that adopted Ignacio said they didn't know that his biological parents were murdered by the regime, many others have been taken to court and are serving sentences for stealing babies away from their real families. Many of those who were loyal to the junta – some of whom were military – visited…