In 2015, Camelia Smicala, a doctor from Piatra-Neamt, Romania, was living in Finland and was married to a Finnish citizen, who was abusing her. In fear for her own life, Camelia threatened to leave home with her two children. The husband, however, notified the Finnish social services and, as a result, the children were forcefully taken away from their mother, following a brutal assault against her as they entered the home, without a warrant.

“I left Romania in 2005 and moved to Finland, where I got married to a Finnish citizen. I want to tell you that, in our case, the issue is clearly about racism. There were three assassination attempts against me that the Finnish police refused to investigate. In 2007 I was taken to a house for domestically abused women, because in 2007 my ex-husband actually tried to strangulate me, and I also had a forensic report as proof. And yet, the Finnish authorities refused to start an investigation.

On May 16th, 2015, my children were taken away for the first time without having a court order, without being notified about this decision, or why it was made. My ex-husband went to court, outside working hours, and said I was going to run away from the country and take the children with me. His proof was that my house was put up for sale, but that was because I was going to move to another district and I had already notified the authorities and the social services about my decision.

They came to our house on May 16th with a bailiff and that’s when the video with the two social workers assaulting us was presented in the Romanian media. I have a broken joint, which will never heal, I had broken ribs and we had not seen any court order. Basically, we were attacked in our own home. That happened on a Saturday, and I only found out about the court ruling on Monday ( two days later): A sentence to take away my custody of the children given without trial, without being notified, or even asked what it is about.

The children were taken. The boy was sent to a children’s home. He’s a wreck! He’s being threatened, he’s scared. And the girl was first put in a foster family. The siblings are not allowed to see each other. They were forbidden to attend school, which is a birth right under Finnish law. Not even the priest is allowed to make contact with them!

It’s worse in Finland than it is in Norway. We’re back in the dark times of the Inquisition here. Our case was even presented on Finnish national television, in the Sunday news in English, and it clearly says that the law was broken and the actions against us were abusive. But nobody is doing anything. I am not talking about international treaties, but about their own, national, laws.”, Camelia Smicala said in an interview.

The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, was sent a letter on this matter, but his reply was dull, stern, and had no follow-up. The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also offered little to no help in fixing this situation, as they only offered to have diplomatic talks with Camelia Smicala at the Romanian Embassy, without offering any legal counsel, or any other kind of help in recovering the missing children.

However, the situation gets worse:

At the start of 2020, Camelia’s daughter was placed in a mental institution for juvenile delinquents, after attempting to escape the children’s home she was basically incarcerated in. In this institution she is being subjected to various kind of “therapy sessions”, that are still undisclosed to the mother. The boy’s exact whereabouts remain unknown after he succeeded in fleeing the children’s home, following a series of liberty constraining measures. Moreover, an arrest warrant was issued on his name. So this raises the question “Is the state of Finland exploiting, trafficking and stealing children, under the false pretense of saving them?”.

This all happened while all eyes were on this case, from Church Officials, to politicians, to people who just protested both in Romania, and abroad, against this blatant abuse.

Maria Grapini, MEP, S&D

One Romanian MEP, Maria Grapini (PSD, S&D), issued various statements on this matter and called for immediate action from the Romanian Ambassador in Finland.  Maria Grapini asked him for an emergency meeting, in Helsinki, with the representatives of the authority that is responsible for institutionalizing children in Finland and with Finnish Ministry of Justice. Maria Grapini has shown her willingness to go to the capital of Finland, once the date would have been settled, but, to this day, she received no reply from any of the sides.

Another very well known and dramatic case of a Romanian citizen being stripped away from their children is the case of Ruth and Marius, from Norway.

The case of a young couple in Norway whose five children were taken away by the state has fuelled mounting concern within the country and abroad over its child protection practices. Protesters around the world, and leading Norwegian professionals , say social workers are too quick to separate children from their families, with too little justification, particularly when the parents are immigrants. So it is safe to say that Camelia Smicala was right when saying this kind of abuse has a racial component  to it.

Ruth and Marius’s lives were torn apart without warning one Monday afternoon when two black cars approached the farm where they live in a remote Norwegian valley and snatched their children one by one. Ruth and Marius explained how their children were taken away by Norway’s Barnevernet over the course of two days.

 

Human and child trafficking has become so pervasive in America that Donald Trump created an entirely new position to tackle it. By a new executive order, President Trump signed into law a new position specifically designed to fight the onslaught of human trafficking that plagues America today. The White House estimates as many as 24.9 million victims of human trafficking around the globe. These unfortunate individuals are typically female and about a quarter of them are children.

The horrible truth is that human trafficking happens within all avenues of human life, but this disgusting practice goes all the way up to the highest levels of government. The most recent example is sex predator Jeffrey Epstein, who took Bill Clinton and many other high-profile politicians to his private island and solicited sexual favors from underage girls. The practice has been swept under a rug for far too long in politics and government authority, under the guise of partisan issues like racism, gender equality, and politics-as-usual.

This begs the following questions: “How much power should the state have over our children? When does the ‘social protection service’ become too much? When will the EU regulate a similar policy like Trump’s, and finally fight against the government’s abuse of power?”