Stockholm / Leyla Nezerevich / Anatolië
After months of protests organized by Muslim families in Sweden claiming that their children had been “kidnapped” by the authorities, Seo Westerberg, a member of the Scandinavian Human Rights Committee, revealed the secrets of the country’s social services system.
Westerberg, the international lawyer who has won 8 cases in the European Court of Human Rights against Swedish social services, spoke to the Anadolu agency and believes that the authorities “kidnap Muslim children, and they do not accept the idea that Muslims have other ways to live. “
In 1990, Sweden introduced a law called the Youth Welfare Act (Special Provisions), which gives social service workers the power to remove children by force from their parents.
According to this law, social agencies have the right to send their employees, with the help of the police, to withdraw children without their parents’ knowledge from their homes or directly from school, without the need for permission from the Swedish Administrative Court.
The children are transferred directly to a house designated for secret investigation, the so-called “care home” or “nursing home”.
The impunity enjoyed by Swedish social services has led to countless violations of the Juvenile Welfare Act, which provide legal grounds for the forced removal of children.
Westerberg, who is also a former doctor, believes “if you are an immigrant family in Sweden, there is a good chance that the social authorities will take your child away from you.”
Asked about the protests organized by Muslim families, Westerberg said: “Social workers find the abduction of Muslim children more enjoyable than sitting all day and caring for alcoholics, for their money and clothes. to give. “
Swedish authorities denied the allegations of kidnapping and described the discussions on Twitter as a “disinformation campaign”, adding that social services “always put the safety and well-being of the child first.”
** “Thought manipulation”
Halima Marie came to Sweden with her husband, Almamo Jargo, and children from the African nation of Gambia, but only a few months later, her 6-year-old daughter was pulled over by social services.
Halima spoke to Anadolu Agency and said the school played with her daughter’s thoughts by telling her that “they will find a better home for her because we will most likely beat her.”
While Almamo, the girl’s father, said his daughter was taken to five different homes when she was 6 to 7 years old because she was sexually abused by foster families.
Almamo added that he suspects that his daughter, who is currently 15, “is still a victim of sexual abuse in her current home, and that social services are not doing anything about it.”
Halima and Al-Mamo reported that they last saw their daughter three years ago, when she was 12 years old, emphasizing that “the social services have stopped any contact between them, and we have no idea where she is.”
Almamo believes his family is a victim of racism, and that the only reason he took his daughter away from them is “because we are Muslims”.
Lena Hellblom Sjögren, a well-known Swedish forensic psychiatrist, believes that judges who adjudicate welfare cases do not have the tools for the work they do, and that in each case they violate their obligation to the Swedish Constitution that they “must be impartial and must seek the facts. “”.
The Swedish system is “unfair” to the child, says Sjögren, author of The Child’s Right to Family Life, because the rights of the child – human rights, legal rights and the needs of the child – are “violated”.
She believes that “if there is not a very proper investigation into the child’s need for protection, the step to remove the child from his family can be taken, as a last step, but not before that.”
** “Money first”
Observers believe that the Swedish Youth Welfare Act generates billions of dollars annually, representing 2 percent of the Swedish state budget.
Withdrawing children from their mothers, says Westerberg, is “a very big business in Sweden”.
She pointed out that nurseries get a lot of money from social services and that “when you adopt a child in your home, you will receive 25,000 Swedish kronor per month (about 2522 US dollars), and you do not have to pay any tax for it. this amount. “
Westerberg added: “Very sick people who have no feelings for children adopt two or three children to build up a financial income that very few people in Sweden have.”
“You can have a luxurious life if you have two or three children,” she said.
Similarly, Sjögren believes that it is “completely wrong for companies to make money by taking children into their homes”, emphasizing that such behavior should be a “last resort”.
She argues that “adults who love children, not adults who should make money” should be used to do this work.
** “Ink on paper”
Swedish law stipulates that children must be placed first with someone from the same family, but according to Sogren “this law and many other laws are not followed in Sweden”.
“The law looks very good on paper, but in practice it is not (..) they do not follow the law,” she added.
Pratima Singh and her husband, David Maclean-Treat, are American Indians whose son Richard was drawn by social services when he was nine years old.
“Social services came with the police, took him and put him outside Stockholm,” McClain-Treit said.
“For 10 years we have done nothing but take the case to court,” he added.
And the father of the child added: “We missed him, we want him to be at home with us.”
But after ten years of trials, David and Pratima failed to get their son back.
When Richard turned 18, he was placed in a rehabilitation center by social services.
Richard’s father added that his son “got into bad company and used drugs,” noting that social services allowed him to leave the nursing home because he was 18, but they put him in a program for those with problems with drugs or alcohol.
“We will never forgive and forget what they did in our lives,” McClean-Treat said. “They just do it to make money.”
Sweden’s social services are such a powerful institution that even in the rare cases where a Swedish court sided with the family and ruled against a social services decision to take the child away, social services officials can ignore the decision and refuse to return the child to the child. parents.
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