Slovaks protest at Britain’s ‘illegal child snatching’ (copied from Daily Mail 22/09/2012)
Demonstrators in Bratislava are echoing Slovak government criticism of Britain’s ‘child protection’ system
7:00PM BST 22 Sep 2012
More than 400 Slovak protesters jammed the street outside the British Embassy in Bratislava last Tuesday, brandishing placards with such slogans as “Britain thief of children” and “Stop legal kidnapping”. They were there to lend their voices to the Slovak government’s own concerns about British social workers and courts, which show a unique readiness to take children into care for what the website of the Slovak justice ministry calls “no sound reason”.
Slovakia has threatened to take the UK to the European Court of Human Rights over cases involving Slovak children, more than 30 of whom, according to one estimate, Britain has taken into care.
The demonstration was timed to coincide with a hearing in the London Court of Appeal of the plea of a grandmother, supported by the Slovak authorities, to have her two young grandsons returned to her care in Slovakia. Forcibly seized from their parents by social workers in 2010, the boys were sent by a judge for adoption earlier this year. Thanks in part to the presence in court last week of a senior official of the Slovak government and the intervention in the case of John Hemming MP, the grandmother was given leave by Lord Justice McFarlane to appeal.
On Friday, Slovak officials were also present in a Kent court which ordered five children from another family to be returned to Slovakia. The children were seized by social workers after the three youngest had been left in the care of their 17- and 15-year-old siblings while their parents were on night shift.
Mr Hemming is in touch with other foreign governments similarly concerned by the way their subjects are being taken into state care in Britain for reasons they believe to be in breach of human rights laws