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Dutch Child Protectors Ignore Appellate Court
September 1, 2013 permalink
Christopher Booker does another report on the children of Jelena Antonova. When an appellate court twice castigated authorities for keeping the children, the Dutch child protection board got permission from a lower court to retain custody.
Dutch family is still fighting the system
A shocking Continental case closely parallels what goes on in our own child protection system
On June 1, under the heading “Dutch social workers catch the English disease”, I reported on the fight of a Russian-Latvian mother, Jelena Antonova, to be reunited with her 10-year-old twin children who were last year snatched by Dutch police – to be held miserably in foster homes, at a cost to Dutch taxpayers of 100,000 euros a year. A chilling video posted by her 24-year-old son Ilja on YouTube shows the children being carried out kicking and screaming by burly policemen to a waiting van. I gather that the wife of one of the policemen was so horrified to see what her husband got up to at work, when she thought he was out catching criminals, that she is suing for divorce.
I reported this story, which has attracted critical attention from the media in several countries, the European Parliament and recently a long article in Holland’s leading newspaper, De Telegraaf, because it so closely parallelled the kind of cases regularly featured in this column, where our own social workers snatch children from their families for what seem totally absurd reasons (the chief reason offered by the social workers in the Dutch case was that the twins spoke Russian at home rather than Dutch).
In 2009, the Dutch families ministry issued a press release describing a visit to London by its minister for children, quoting him saying that the work of Britain’s social workers was an “inspiration” that Holland would do well to follow.
But in one respect it seems that the Dutch go even further than their British counterparts. Twice recently, the Dutch court of appeal has castigated the handling of this case by the authorities, ruling that the children should be returned to their mother. But each time the child protection board, part of the justice ministry, has simply gone to a lower family court to apply, successfully, for the children to remain in “care”, first for three more months, now for a year.
At least in Britain no lower court would dare to reverse the rulings of our own Court of Appeal. But the family’s doughty legal team say that in many years of experience they have never known anything like this before. They now plan to return yet again to the appeal court, to have the family reunited as the court so clearly wished it to be.
Source: Telegraph (UK)