Protest over children in care

IN THE most recent development concerning cases in which Slovak families livingin the UK have been separated from their children by the intervention of social services, the head of Slovakia’s Centre for International Protection of Children and Youths, Andrea Císarová, appealed a UK court decision to have two Slovak children put up for adoption. On September 18, a UK court decided to grant the mother in question another chance to appeal the previous ruling to her sons put up for adoption.The case concerns the Boór family, whose two sons were taken away from their parents, who were subsequently divorced. The mother and grandmother of the children earlier this year missed a deadline for appealing against the court’s decision.

Several mothers with babies took part in the protest in front of the British Embassy.Several mothers with babies took part in the protest in front of the British Embassy. (Source: SITA)

IN THE most recent development concerning cases in which Slovak families livingin the UK have been separated from their children by the intervention of social services, the head of Slovakia’s Centre for International Protection of Children and Youths, Andrea Císarová, appealed a UK court decision to have two Slovak children put up for adoption. On September 18, a UK court decided to grant the mother in question another chance to appeal the previous ruling to her sons put up for adoption.
The case concerns the Boór family, whose two sons were taken away from their parents, who were subsequently divorced. The mother and grandmother of the children earlier this year missed a deadline for appealing against the court’s decision.

Meanwhile, on September 18 about 150 people gathered in front of the UK Embassy in Bratislava to protest against the adoption of the two boys in the Boór case.

In response to the protests and media attention around the Boór case the Foreign Ministry published a statement on its website saying that it would like to bring attention to some facts about the case. The case was handled by official British institutions including the social care office, the police and the courts, as well as independent experts, and a UK court decided on July 19, 2010, to place the two boys in temporary foster care. A final court hearing took place in London on May 16-29, 2012, after which the court refused to place the children in the care of their grandmother. The parents did not appeal against the decision, the ministry wrote, adding that neither the ministry nor the Slovak embassy in the UK can act as a party in the case and cannot interfere in police investigations or court proceedings.

Despite that, the ministry and the embassy have been doing all they can to support the family, the statement reads: the ministry has been cooperating with the Centre for International Protection of Children and Youth, and has always agreed to meet the grandmother of the boys in person. The representatives of the embassy have attended all the court hearings and have several times called on the British authorities in person as well as via diplomatic notes to observe international agreements in this area.

“It is necessary to realise that the UK is a member country of the EU, with an independent judiciary whose rulings should be respected on the one hand, but on the other hand there are remedies that can be used,” the statement reads. “At the same time, Slovak citizens must keep and respect the laws of a country in which they are staying, remembering that the British laws in this area are composed differently from the Slovak ones.”

Reporting on Císarová’s intervention at the British court in the case, Labour Minister Ján Richter explained that the Labour Ministry had first received information about the case in July 2010 and the Centre for International Protection of Children and Youth started acting, but with no results.
Subsequently, the minister claimed, he dismissed the then director of the centre and replaced her with Císarová, who has now managed to initiate cooperation with her counterpart in the UK, the TASR newswire reported.

As a result of the newly-launched cooperation, the British social services will inform the Slovak Centre for International Protection of Children and Youth about similar cases of separated families.

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