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Handling child custody case as per our law: Norway to India

New Delhi: Norway on Tuesday told India that it is handling the case involving the custody of a child of an Indo-Norwegian family in accordance with the Norwegian Child Welfare Act which includes directions from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This was conveyed to the Indian ambassador who had gone to meet Norwegian officials, who also informed him that since child welfare cases are highly sensitive, the cases are therefore subject to a strict duty of confidentiality.

Ahead of the meeting, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said India wants the five-and-a-half-year-old boy united with his natural parents and refused to accept that foster parents can take better care of the child than natural parents.

“The foster parents are totally ignorant of the Indian culture and our food habits. We want restoration of Aryan to his natural parents,” Swaraj had tweeted.

According to Norwegian Embassy Spokesperson here, “The Indian ambassador to Norway visited the Norwegian authorities earlier today (in Oslo) to discuss the child welfare case involving a Norwegian/Indian family, where the child holds Norwegian citizenship. The meeting had a constructive atmosphere.

“The Norwegian authorities have reiterated that child welfare cases are handled in accordance to the Norwegian Child Welfare Act, which includes directions from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

During the meeting with the Indian envoy, the Norwegian authorities also said the the Act applies to all children in Norway, regardless of their background, residential status or citizenship.

The embassy also was once again assured that the Norwegian authorities were dealing with the case with complete sensitivity and awareness.

Indian national Gurvinderjit Kaur and her husband, who is a Norwegian national, have alleged that the authorities in that country have taken away their son on a frivolous complaint of abuse.

Kaur had also written to the ministry seeking help in getting back her son, who has been taken away by the Norway Child Welfare Services.

This is the third case since 2011 when children have been taken away from their Indian-origin parents by the authorities in Norway on the grounds of abuse.

In 2011, a three-year-old and a one-year-old were separated from their parents, prompting the then UPA government to take up the issue with Norway.

The Norwegian court later allowed the children to be reunited with their parents.

In December 2012, an Indian couple was jailed on charges of ill-treatment of their children, 7 and 2 years. Later, they were sent to their grandparents in Hyderabad.

PTI