Prague, Jan 16 (CTK) – Several hundred people protested against the way in which the Norwegian child welfare service Barnevernet took children away from their parents who are foreigners in Norway.
The protesters listened to speeches outside the seat of the Norwegian Embassy and then marched through Prague´s centre to the building of the Norway Funds. The marchers carried Czech banners saying Children Belong to Family, Norway, Hands Off Our Children or Stop Norwegian Fascism.
No incidents occurred during the event, Prague police spokesman Jan Danek said.
The protest was part of a chain of demonstrations that started in Oslo earlier this week and took place in London and Bucharest. In Moscow and Vienna protests are held Saturday and in Bratislava, Kolkata and Warsaw in the next days, the Prague organisers said.
Czech mother Eva Michalakova has been fighting for her two sons that Barnevernet took away from her in 2011, over suspected abuse, and placed them into Norwegian foster families.
Barnevernet recently decided to take a nine-month baby girl staying in hospital from her parents, a Czech mother and Norwegian father, over their allegedly insufficiently developed contact with the baby.
A Slovak mother and a Romanian family, too, have been fighting with Barnevernet that took their children away from them in Norway.
Czech MEP Tomas Zdechovsky (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said the protest is not aimed against Norway but against the system of removing children from their parents which he said got out of control.
“We don’t like what is happening in Norway,” Zdechovsky said.
One of the organisers, Jordanka Jiraskova, told CTK that the protesters want all the children who were unjustly taken from their parents in Norway to be returned to them.
According to Jiraskova, the children were taken away based on unjustified reports without any thorough check being made in the families.