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May 18, 2021

Human rights committee senators show solidarity with Bodnariu family and ask case be solved

The members of the Senate’s human rights committee voice their solidarity with the Bodnariu family and ask the public authorities of Romania and Norway to handle the case with special attention for duly solving it.

According to a Senate press release sent to Agerpres on Friday, the committee members took note of “the abusive interpretation of the ‘child’s best interest’ principle by the child welfare service of Norway.”

“The members of the Senate’s committee on human rights, cults and minorities voice their solidarity with the Bodnariu family and with the other families facing similar situations and are asking the public authorities of Romania to grant an enhanced attention for solving this case. Based on the good relations between Romania and the Kingdom of Norway, we are asking the MPs, the special committees within Norway’s Parliament, the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, the Child Welfare Service in Norway, as well as other institutions with responsibilities in this area to observe the rights of children and the fundamental principle based on which the children will grow up with their biological parents. We reserve the right to act, according to the Romanian legislation, whenever we notice the deviation from the good practices and the observance of the international regulations,” the document reads.

The senators of the human rights committee also believe that the situation of the Bodnariu family – the separation of the five children without any previous counseling effort for solving the family problems, represents “a disproportionate measure, which is to the detriment of the complex development of the children, taking into account that there should be a balanced relation between the children’s rights and the parents’ rights.”

“Starting from the fact that, according to the organisation law, the child welfare service of Norway was established based on adopting the fundamental principle, according to which children shall grow up with their biological parents, this institution should have set the support measures for the child and family, having at its disposal a series of instruments that can be used to facilitate the children’s upbringing in the family. We mention that both Romania and Norway are signatories of the Convention on the child rights, adopted by the UN in 1989 (which came into effect in 1990), an international document with binding legal power for the states that ratified it, set up based on four principles: non-discrimination; the child’s best interest; the right to life, subsistence and development; the child’s involvement in the decisions affecting him or her,” the release also mentions.

The senators also make reference in the release to the provisions of Article 3 Para 1 of the UN Convention, according to which “in all actions concerning children, carried out by public or private social assistance institutions, courts, administrative or legislative bodies, the child’s interests shall prevail.”

“In applying the principle of the best interests of the child, a difficulty element is the exact interpretation of its scope, mainly of the types of actions concerning the child or children and which this principle must be applied to. Most times, the courts must make decisions regarding the custody of children or adoptions. We are pointing out that, in the foreword of the convention, the party states firmly share the conviction that the family, as basic society unit and natural environment devoted to the upbringing and welfare of all its members and particularly of the children, must benefit from the protection and assistance required to be able to fully assume the responsibilities within society,” the release also mentions.

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