19 October 2015
Marianne Haslev Skånland:
The child protection case in Norway
about the Czech children of Eva Michaláková
Some aspects

"CPS" is a common abbreviation for a "child protective services" and that is my term for the Norwegian state's agency Barnevernet in this article. "Barn" means "child" and "vern" means "protection"/"guard", so the correspondence is straightforward. Its official name in English, however, is The Child Welfare Services (CWS), and that term is perhaps indicative of an ambition on the part of Norwegian authorities to be perceived in a certain way abroad. To me, it smells of submerging the known connotations of "child protection" under a mild, humane welfare state picture of progressive, enlightened and universally helpful public employees, well educated specialists always with an inspiring ideal of "the child's best interest" before them. (Some pertinent observations about the practice of this "best interest" can be found in Child protection and the emperor's new clothes by Erik Rolfsen.)

So what have the actions of Norwegian CPS brought the case of Eva Michaláková and her two sons to?

I should like to comment on some recent developments and on the situation now. It is quite illustrative of the general, horrid situation in Norway for victims of the CPS.

I will not give an account of the whole case. It can be obtained from other sources; I give some link addresses under the article and a lot more can be accessed through these and by a general search. Readers who are unfamiliar with the case, can usefully start here:

Jan Simonsen:
Child protection case damages Norway's reputation in the Czech Republic
28 November 2014

It is important for anybody who is beginning to see the red light of these cases that they also read extensively on the CPS derailing in other Western countries. It has the same basis everywhere; Norway is not alone.

A recent judgment

The news in October 2015 is that a court case about the two Czech boys has recently taken place in Drammen and the judgment has been published. The decision is (of course) that Mrs Michaláková's sons are not to be allowed to return to her or anybody else in their Czech family. They are to stay permanently with their fosterers in Norway and the younger boy is to be adopted by these Norwegian foster "parents". Eva Michaláková is deprived of what in Norwegian law is called "parental responsibility", which is a kind of euphemism for "parental rights", meaning that she is by law no longer their mother nor has she any connection at all with them in any legal sense.

Publicising the facts and development of the case

The result of the case has been published widely in the Czech Republic and so has the earlier history of the whole case. Information has also reached some other countries, but has (of course) been largely ignored by the established Norwegian press, which is very state subservient, as is the Norwegian people: full of self-satisfied trust in the supreme wisdom and competence and humane, civilised decency of their authorities.

The Norwegian authorities have now had the insolence to "inform" the public that Mrs Michaláková can freely talk/write about the case without risking punishment. This is deliberately misleading. It is correct that she probably does not risk being prosecuted in a criminal court in Norway (although it depends quite a bit on what she publishes). But that is not the issue. She has been repeatedly criticised by the CPS for going public and that has been used against her all along, trying to make her believe that she would fare better in the courts and in the CPS's eyes if she kept quiet. Most of all they have criticised her for publishing pictures of herself together with her sons. In Norwegian ideology, it is so terrible for children that their pictures are published, and this is certainly used against her by the CPS, the County Committee and the courts. That being used as an argument why the sons "cannot" return to their mother, the Norwegian authorities still hold that it is not "punishment".

A further point should be clearly understood about making the world know about one's CPS case: The argument that this "proves" that one is inconsiderate to the children and therefore not a suitable parent, is not real. None of the usual arguments of the CPS are real, except those relating to cases of factual, proven maltreatment. In all the psycho-babble cases (and they are the majority), the CPS simply use against parents anything they think the courts will believe is a valid and serious enough "defect".

Usually a claim that such-and-such "failure" on the part of a parent is seriously bad for a child is backed up by scientific-sounding psycho-babble. In Eva Michaláková's case, if she had not tried to find help by making her case public in the Czech community, the CPS would no doubt have used, even invented, something else to lay at her door. Eva Michaláková would
not have got her children back any more than she now has, if she had shut up completely. Generally, the CPS have managed to make our jurists (judges and lawyers) believe in the mumbo-jumbo about the harmfulness of all publicity about child protection cases, therefore the CPS delight in being able to use that argument in court. Nevertheless, they have other ammunition (they always do, regardless of how innocent and ordinary parents are), and they would really prefer CPS cases to be entirely anonymous, i.e. to scare every parent away from publicising their case, even if that would deprive the CPS of using publication as an argument against the parents.

If nobody at all knows any facts that the family can tell about the realities of their family life (most families can show, even prove, that a lot of what the CPS claim, is untrue), then the CPS will have a perfectly free run with the parents and can stigmatise them completely.

That is why the CPS and our authorities are working hard pushing for legislation which will more or less muzzle critics (the affected families and anybody else) regarding concrete facts of concrete CPS cases. The authorities have become alarmed at the number of families who make use of the internet for telling the public about the treatment they have received at the hands of the CPS. Accordingly the state has had a bunch of jurists working for some time on legislation to restrict the freedom of speech; it will apparently no longer be permissible to publish concrete facts and names of people involved in CPS cases just with the purpose of "creating an opinion" in the population. Only publishings which are deemed to be "journalistic" will be permitted to give concrete details, cf
The fight against freedom of expression by the state, the municipalities and the unions.

The state's legal experts have discussed at length how to shut the population up and they hope to worm through, without this restriction they have come up with being set aside by Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention of Human Rights. It is anyway doubtful whether many exhausted and penniless people who have already been manhandled by the CPS and our courts in cases where their children are cut off from them, will be able to challenge our authorities by publishing, then being prosecuted in the criminal court, taken to jail or made to pay a whacking fine, and of course being even more cut off from ever seeing their children – just on the off-chance that in 6 years' time their case may be admitted to an uncertain destiny at the European Court of Human Rights.

Misleading "information"

The Norwegian authorities have also apparently "informed" the outraged Czech public and Czech authorities that Mrs Michaláková can appeal the case to a higher court. Ah, but the present decision claims that her sons have been away for so long that they are now "attached" to their foster "parents" (the official public ideology of psycho-babble) and that it would therefore be so terrible for them to be "torn away" from these fosterers.

What of the time when they were torn away from their parents? Nothing is ever said about the trauma such an action by the CPS exposes children to. The CPS and the courts always try to prolong endlessly the time they keep children in CPS hands, the cases drag on indefinitely, until just such a preposterous claim as the present one is made. So what are Mrs Michaláková's chances in an appeal case, when even more months and years have passed?

Some Norwegian authorities have apparently also made the Czechs believe that children will not or cannot be adopted away in Norway if either a parent or relatives of the parents want them. The Czechs have believed this and are furious.

One might ask why they expected any different. Look at what has happened before: The police drop the case against the father, but the CPS do not return the children. The CPS apparently advise Eva Michaláková that she has to divorce her husband in order to get the children back, the parents divorce, but the children are not returned.

Just such features in the way the case has developed ought to make the Czech nation wake up and understand how deep the tragedy of Western CPS goes, that the Michaláková case is not a rare exception nor are these features accidental mistakes. They are part and parcel of the way Norway practices child protection.

This whole case will hopefully teach the Czechs not to believe anything the Norwegian authorities say about child protection matters or of the excellent safeguards of the courts. Lies (in "the best interest of the child") are extremely frequent in this field and the courts support the CPS "expert" decisions almost mechanically. All victims of the Norwegian or other Western nations' CPS know it too, but it is extremely difficult to make foreign nations believe that the authorities of "civilised welfare states" of the West lie their face. Some thousands of Norwegians with experience of the CPS in their lives have been trying to give information for years, but have largely been shouting to deaf ears and been judged "unreliable".

Reaction in the Czech Republic

The Czech authorities have reacted very properly and quite strongly. They have had very serious meetings on government level, and have sent a protest note:

Prague to send protest note to Oslo over Michalak case on Oct 7
České noviny, 6 October 2015

There was actually also a suggestion of expelling the Norwegian ambassador. This last suggestion fell because it was felt that a total diplomatic break between the Czech Republic and Norway would prevent any further dialogue (cf the article in České noviny).

Norway's missionary zeal and the usual response to objections

In the idea of dialogue the Czechs are too optimistic. Norway will not have any real dialogue about the case regardless, dialogue which might lead to Norway letting go of these children, because it would be a powerful precedent leading to a deluge of other parents and children demanding to be reunited.

All Norway will do, is to "inform" the Czechs endlessly about the perfect Norwegian system of child protection and the excellence of our courts, just the way Norwegian embassies in other countries do when Norway has confiscated children of their nations. One would hope that this case will teach the Czechs not to believe in the soft soap Norway always spreads through its embassies around the world.

Norwegian embassies abroad and Norwegian child protection
8 January 2015 –

Norwegian child protection active as teachers in Estonia?
31 May 2015 –

Norway's ambassador to Lithuania speaks out on child custody controversy involving Norwegian child services / Lithuanian foreign minister and Norwegian ambassador discuss children's rights protection
19 February 2015

Norwegian Embassy hires PR firm to tackle bad press in Lithuania
18 April 2015

Official Norway and most of the Norwegian population being ridden by ideology in this field, any common sense about children and family is out the window long ago.

It is also to be hoped that the facts of the Michaláková case may tell the Czechs not to let Norway give them "developmental aid" in the form of sending money and CPS people down to "teach the Czechs" how to protect children. Czech social services have something brewing already. This is stated in a recent letter from two Czech members of the European parliament:

"The very same system of "barnevern" is now under full implementation in our country and money from the "Norwegian funds" is used to prote it. We speak on behalf of the people who reject this money!"
Petr Mach & Tomáš Zdechovský:
An open letter to the Norwegian government

A speech in Prague (on the occasion of the demonstration against Norwegian child protection on 30 May of this year) by the very perceptive Václav Klaus Jr. brought out the same point, and also put the Norwegian CPS misery into international perspective:

"... everything is pretty much ready here to start the same system. We already have the very similar "Barnevernet" law, we already have paid foster parents so people don't take kids for giving them love but to get money. We have those so called non-profit organizations that organize the whole process. Now it is just about waiting when all the current social workers will be replaced by the zealous activists. Then the same inferno starts here as well. ... The situation is serious and I really don't understand (to) those appeals for peacefulness demonstrations because they're stealing children! What could be wors(t)? They may make new regulations, they may increase taxes. So, ok, we'll be poorer. But they are stealing children from mothers! Let's resist, let's fight back!"
Václav Klaus Jr. - education expert speaks against stealing children by governement
NorskoKradeDěti NorwayStealsChildren, 1 June 2015
(Several other videos about the Czech case can be accessed by clicking into the poster's name NorskoKradeDěti NorwayStealsChildren.)

Good! This is realism! There is nothing to hope for, in particular nothing to delay for, wait for, neither in friendly, well-mannered "dialogue" with Norwegian authorities nor in the legal process in Norway. The only possibility is continued and unstinted effort to condemn and make public everything about these cases and the ideology behind them, and trying through every suitable local and international organisation to put pressure on Norway to stop, and even that effort will only work in the long run and, in individual cases, only accidentally.

What Norway does

When it comes to "disciplining" devastated parents – and foreign nations trying to help them, Norway holds the children hostage and the state has given the CPS full powers to do whatever they choose. They do not respond to arguments from foreign nations, nor to pressure if they can help it. Even the pressing concern, on prime ministerial level, from India could not make the Norwegian government just decide to set aside the crazy decisions of the leader of Stavanger CPS in the well-known Bhattacharya case (see the appendix in Child protection case damages Norway's reputation in the Czech Republic; for links cf The India / Stavanger case). At long last Norway let the children go, but only to their father's brother, and only after succeeding in putting the father and mother at loggerheads and demanding that the father's family should keep the mother away from the children (it is slightly reminiscent of the way the Norwegian court has now thrown Mrs Michaláková completely out of her sons' lives but has let the boys' father keep some rights still). I leave it to the readers to reflect on how the CPS leader in Stavanger could possibly intend to exercise this power over the father's family in India.

It took much effort and very energetic helpers, e.g. the local child protection unit back in Calcutta, before the Indian children were finally returned to their mother Sagarika. On hearing the news of this, the Stavanger CPS leader said that he would never again allow confiscated children out of Norway. He and the Norwegian official children's ombudsman at the time also gave newspaper interviews where they asked the Norwegian ministry for child affairs to help local CPS offices in trouble with the press and foreign nations, because the poor CPS workers could not handle diplomatic troubles or their effects on Norwegian trade relations (Indians were threatening boycott against Norwegian industry). The Norwegian government responded positively to this, they promised they would step in and protect CPS agencies and more or less take over the handling of foreign states. The CPS are still to keep their powers. The Norwegian foreign minister at the time the Indian case was running said with a gay laughter in an interview that now the fate of all of Norway's trade with India was in the hands of a CPS leader in Stavanger.

In a case concerning Turkish children, a Norwegian municipality (Stavanger again, but that is fairly accidental) apparently paid out half a million crowns (≈ EUR 50-60,000) to an agent who kidnapped the children back again from Turkey, where the judge in a court case which was running had commanded Norway to bring them out from hiding (the foster parents, helped by the Norwegian CPS and who knows who else, held them secretly). The Norwegian foster "father" in the case had already been accused of sex abuse of two foster girls previously in the household and has later been found guilty in a case concerning sex abuse and child pornography (cf
The iron hand that rocks the cradle with a detail about money in the explanatory introduction).

Concerning a Polish girl who had escaped back to her parents in Poland, the local Norwegian CPS, backed by the authorities, actually went to court in Poland to attempt to have the girl extradited back to Norwegian CPS care, in spite of everything the girl herself wanted! Cf
Judgment in Poland: a nine-year-old girl NOT to be extradited to Norway.

Waking the Norwegians up?

The contrast is quite clear between what Václav Klaus Jr. says, seriously: "So, ok, we'll be poorer. But they are stealing children from mothers!" and what our Labour party foreign minister said laughingly concerning our trade with India.

Perhaps Norwegian greed may accomplish something decency, humanity and common sense do not seem able to do: make some people in Norway wake up to the reality of what our CPS system is doing, if countries whose citizens are affected manage to boycott Norway in some way which harms Norwegian economy, general reputation or pride. In the Indian case there was a demonstration in Calcutta of about 6,000 people and a movement at the same time to avoid the Norwegian company Telenor for phone services.

Many interested Indians remember quite well the case and what it taught them, and have now sendt letters of support to the Czech embassy in New Delhi and of criticism to the Norwegian embassy there:

The publicity and support initiative taken in India re the Czech case
Press release
14 October 2015

The letter of support to the Czech embassy in New Delhi from Indians who observe with concern the actions of Norwegian 'barnevernet' in the Czech case
9 October 2015

The letter to the Norwegian embassy in New Delhi from Indians who observe with concern the actions of Norwegian 'barnevernet' in the Czech case
9 October 2015

This has been noticed in the Czech Republic, e.g here:
Norsko se k Michalákovým chová brutálně, zní až z Indie
Echo, 17 October 2015


A really good initiative in Prague – possibly the best of all – in the context of the present case has been to withdraw the invitation to the Norwegian ambassador to be present at a solemn celebration on 28 October, which was the day the independent state of Czechoslovakia was created in 1918.

Norwegian Ambassador Not Welcomed at Czech Presidential Seat
Associated Press, 8 October 2015

This, then, is what at long last draws a little bit of interest in a couple of fairly limp Norwegian newspaper articles, not the destruction of a Czech family and the literal abduction of two children from their family, but the diplomatic-political standing of our ambassador in Prague:

Comment on articles in VG and Dagbladet
8 / 9 October 2015

The press representative at the Norwegian Foreign Ministry says that they see no reason why decisions in child protection cases should affect our bilateral relationship to the Czech Republic! No, I am sure they don't see any. This too exposes more than clearly the Norwegian ideology about the needs of children.

All such actions and the continued publicity in the Czech Republic are useful. Combined with strong pressure on Norway, it
may succeed in bringing Eva Michaláková's children back to Czechia.


See also

Jan Simonsen:
Child protection case damages Norway's reputation in the Czech Republic
28 November 2014

Jan Simonsen:
Rock hard criticism of Norwegian child protection from the president of the Czech Republic
10 February 2015

Jan Simonsen:
Shame on Norway
21 June 2015

Erik Rolfsen:
Child protection and the emperor's new clothes
15 September 2015

This case is discussed on pp 4-13 in this thread:
Child kidnapping by the Norwegian State
28 November 2014 - 13 October 2015

Czech family seriously damaged by Norwegian CPS
1 January 2015 –

Marianne Haslev Skånland:
Norway to implement the Hague convention on child abduction –
an expected development, and vary unfortunate for families targeted by the child protection authorities

25 / 26 April 2015

Arild Holta:
The fight against freedom of expression by the state, the municipalities and the unions
16 October 2015

Marianne Haslev Skånland:
On attachment, eye contact and interaction
11 October 2015

On attachment theory also here:
Marianne Haslev Skånland:
The Child Protection Service (CPS) – unfortunately the cause of grievous harm
Part 2: Content, dimensions, causes and mechanisms of CPS activities

16 March 2012

Marianne Haslev Skånland:
Is biological kinship irrelevnt for the life of human beings?
11 March 2012