Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’

Sweden’s State-Sponsored “Kidnapping” of 7-year-old Homeschooler Approaches One Year Anniversary

Friday, June 25th, 2010

A Review of the Egregious

December 2009 Court Decision

Allowing Social Services

to Keep Little Domenic in State Custody

It was one year ago today, June 25, when armed police, at the behest of Social Services of Gotland, stormed an Indian bound jetliner in Stockholm, Sweden, and forcibly removed the Johansson family. Their crime? They had briefly home schooled their only child in a land which looks upon home schooling families with contempt, and just this week passed a new education law making home schooling illegal across the Swedish landscape. This story examines the life of the Johanssons and the December 2009 Swedish Chamber Court Decision which essentially holds a family captive on the Swedish island of Gotland.

When cultures collide

Because his mother is Indian, Domenic grew up somewhat different from the average Swedish child, naturally adopting Indian ways and customs. Annie, the now 8 year-old boy’s mother, believes in a simple life where mothers raise their children by hand until school age. Therefore, Annie and her husband Christer never enrolled Domenic in Swedish day care and preschool and were repeatedly harassed by Social Services of Gotland for their choice to raise Domenic at home.
(Click photos to enlarge.)

In Sweden, it is the rare child who does not attend day care soon after birth while mothers rejoin the workforce. Domenic and Annie were the exception, and not the rule. Therefore, their way of life attracted attention. Mother and child remained home with each other daily, enjoying the most natural of relationships. Yet shockingly, in the December 2009 court decision to continue holding Domenic in state custody, the fact that Domenic was never placed in day care was held against the family. According to the December 2009 court document, “…the parents have taken a risk with not letting Domenic participate in child care and schooling.” When, in the history of humanity, has it been a “risk” for a mother to raise her child at home herself?

“Lives in the shadow”

The court has clearly held Annie’s position as a foreigner in Sweden against her. You see, Annie’s native tongue is English, yet she has learned to speak and read some Swedish over time since emigrating to the country in 2001. On the other hand, Christer speaks both Swedish and English fluently, as does Domenic. Over the years, Christer has done most of the translating and speaking for Annie. Gotland Socials have interpreted Annie’s reliance upon her husband to communicate for her as a weakness, as cited in the December 2009 court document, stating, “Annie Johansson lives in the shadow of her husband.” If you moved to a foreign country with your spouse, who grew up in that country, would you not also be heavily reliant upon your spouse if you did not speak the language well? Would such a reliance make you an unfit parent?

Mother earns Masters but “lacks ability”

Annie received her BA from the University of Poona in 1994 and then her MA from the University of Pune, 1996. She also pursued additional education by earning a First Class diploma in Advertising and Public Relations, also in 1996, from the Bombay Institute of Management Studies, as well as a diploma of Distinction in Information and Systems Management from Aptech Computer Education school in 1998.  Yet, Social Services of Gotland managed to convince the Chamber Court judge that while Annie has the “will” to be a good mother, she, a multi-degreed individual, hasn’t the “ability.” The December 2009 Chamber Court decision states, “Christer Johansson and Annie Johansson have a will to act as good parents but lack ability.” Do you have a Masters degree, or perhaps just a Bachelors degree? If so, did your degree take a certain amount of knowledge, self-discipline, maturity and “ability” to obtain?

A bereaved mother’s “present state”

According to the Johanssons, in the fall of 2008 Social Services of Gotland began actively investigating and harrassing them after the family notified the local school of their intent to home school Domenic for a brief time prior to their move to India. Compulsory school age is 7 in Sweden. Domenic turned 7 in September of that year. At the time, home schooling was still legal in Sweden. In light of the pending emigration to India, the Johanssons were acting in the best interest of their son by making an educational choice which would naturally minimize disruption to his studies while they moved.

Even though home schooling was at the time legal in Sweden, many in positions of governmental authority are against the practice, as demonstrated just this week when on June 22 the Swedish Parliament approved a new Education Act making home schooling illegal in Sweden. In 2008, the Johanssons were met with resistance to their home school plans from officials at the local Gotland schools, as well as from employees Social Services. Thus, the interrogation and investigation of the Johanssons began. Because it was their legal right, the Johanssons stood their ground and home schooled Domenic through his first school age year.

By the school year’s end, the harassment from Social Services took its toll on Annie, but she persevered nonetheless. However, since Sweden has “kidnapped” her son, Annie’s health has greatly deteriorated, as noted in the December 2009 decision, “Her present state strongly affects her ability to be a parent.”

Let’s consider this in context: By December 2009, the Johansson family had been terrorized by the Social Board of Gotland for more than sixteen months; had their home swarmed and searched by armed Swedish police; had been pursued by armed police, at the request of the Social Board, to the very tip of the tarmac at an international airport; had watched helplessly as armed police stormed the jetliner upon which they were passengers; had been forcibly removed from the airplane; once back in the airport had been tricked into allowing the Socials to separate Domenic from them by stating they were simply taking him “to the room next door” only to find out minutes later that he had been wisked out of the airport and was headed back to Gotland and into forced foster care. They had endured numerous meetings with the Socials pleading for the return of their son; were lied to when told he’d be returned in three days; were accused of neglecting him because of two cavities discovered in his baby teeth, after the fact, during those three days in state custody; they’d been through three levels of court cases attempting to have their son returned to them; they’d not been allowed to see their son except for one hour every five weeks. All of this trauma perpetrated by the state, and the Chamber Court judges Annie’s fitness as a parent based upon her “present state.” How ironic that the same people who created terror and chaos in the Johansson’s lives are those who now claim that Annie is unfit to parent in her “present state.” The Swedish Social Services of Gotland have violated and torn apart a peaceful and loving family. Now they punish that family for their suffering.

Parent’s agony labeled “lack of skill” during supervised visits

The December 2009 decision indicates that Domenic and his parents do not know how to interact with each other during state-supervised visits. Specifically, the document states, “Both Christer and Annie Johansson show a lack of skill…There is a lack of dialogue and interaction from both sides.”

Since Domenic’s seizure, Annie and Christer have battled the fight of a lifetime against forces with seemingly unlimited power and resources. They are allowed to see their only child for one state-supervised hour every five weeks, and are permitted to speak with him for one state-monitored ten minute telephone call every two weeks. During these times of fleeting interaction with their son, Annie and Christer are severely restricted in what they can say and do in Domenic’s presence and they are watched constantly.

During one visit, Annie, overwhelmed by her emotions at seeing her son after such a long separation, began to cry. Instead of understanding and sympathizing with the pain Domenic, Annie and Christer were experiencing, the attending social worker threatened them, telling them if Annie cried again the visit would end immediately. Can you imagine being threatened to lose your one precious hour every five weeks with your child simply because you’ve behaved naturally, as a brokenhearted mother who is losing her child? Is it any wonder all three of them, Domenic, Annie and Christer, don’t know what to say or how to conduct themselves under the ever present microscope of an attending social worker? Yet, in the December Chamber Court decision, this family is accused of having a “lack of skill” in meeting each other under impossible conditions. Again, this family is punished for suffering created by the state.

How far must we stretch our imagination to understand the strain a parent-child relationship suffers once social services removes a child from his home? Since their separation, Domenic, Annie and Christer have suffered great turmoil and impossible adjustments. Looking forward to beginning his new life with his parents and large family in India, Domenic instead was forced to live in a stranger’s house in Sweden. At the time he would have begun school in India, he was forced to begin school in Sweden. On his 8th birthday, the heartbroken boy was denied permission to see his parents. When his first Christmas away from home arrived, he was again denied permission to visit or even talk by telephone with the parents he’s always loved and adored. Instead, Domenic was forced to celebrate his birthday and the holiday season with strangers while the social workers surrounded themselves with family, friends and loved ones.

There are other restrictions, as well. The Johanssons are not allowed to bring gifts or treats for Domenic. Christer’s elderly father and wheelchair-bound mother, Domenic’s grandparents, close and dear to him since birth, accompany the family to the state-supervised visits. Unaccountably, at times these gentle people found themselves kept out of the visiting room. No explanation or reason given.

According to the Johanssons, the family has been instructed always to smile when they see Domenic and never to talk about the separation. In essence, they are expected to act as if everything is perfectly fine when they see their son. They are not at liberty to tell Domenic that they do not agree with his living in foster care. They are not at liberty to tell him they are fighting to bring him home. Instead, according to the Johanssons, they are to interact with their son in such a manner that would obviously lead little Domenic to believe his removal from his family is perfectly acceptable to his mother and father.

We have no idea, however, what social workers are telling Domenic. If his mother and father are not allowed to speak of the separation and are not allowed to tell Domenic they are fighting for him, does that not leave Domenic to wonder what his parents are thinking? Doesn’t that leave a little boy totally confused about what has happened and at the mercy of whatever message the social workers and foster parents choose to tell him? Children often naturally blame themselves for family difficulties. If Annie and Christer are not allowed to reassure Domenic that he is loved, cherished and wanted back home, isn’t this little boy open to very serious and long-term psychological damage?  We also wonder what might be happening in Domenic’s foster life which perhaps he has been forbidden to share with his parents.

It is clear why Domenic, Annie and Christer do not know what to say or do when they see each other. This family has become nothing more than puppets on the strings of a heartless puppeteer. They’ve been threatened into doing and saying as little as possible when visiting Domenic. The question remains: what has Domenic been told or gone through which has caused him to no longer interact naturally with his parents? Why does Domenic now suffer huge gaps in his memory, as noted by his distressed parents?

National Health Care – How a man’s conscientious efforts to regain health were used against him
Sweden is a socialist country. The country’s health care is administered by the government, as opposed to private health care where patients enjoy doctor patient privacy. In a socialist system, your health record is the government’s business.

In the Domenic Johansson case, Christer’s health records from years previous were eventually used against him. After the earth quake and the family’s emigration back to Sweden, Christer suffered a major depressive episode. Yet he did the right thing. He recognized his condition and sought help from the Swedish health system. After a psychiatric evaluation, Christer received the anti-depressant medication Seroxat (also known as Paxil). Unfortunatly, this drug can have severe side effects and Christer fell victim to some of its worst, including dependency.

Once more, Christer did the right thing. He recognized his further deteriorating condition and sought help from the Swedish health system again, at which time he was offered the popular Swedish depression remedy: Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). A well informed and intelligent man, Christer already knew the dangers of ECT and turned the psychiatric clinic’s offered remedy down. Christer found he had only one choice: to wean himself off Paxil, which he succeeded in doing over several months.

Unfortunately for Christer, health records of Swedish citizens are not private. Any government agency or employee, it seems, can obtain a citizen’s records. As in countless other state child protective cases, Christer’s health records were obtained by Visby Social Services and the often conflicting diagnoses of Christer’s mental health condition in 2003 and 2004 have been used against him in 2009. In response, Christer requested a new psychiatric evaluation. Dated October 11, 2009,  the newest psychiatric evaluation documents the history of Christer’s struggles and provides a new evaluation and conclusion by Visby Adult Neuropsychiatry Department. According to the report, which was submitted in full to the Chamber Court,  Christer is said to be healthy and completely free of any mental illness or other diagnosis.

Even with this latest psychiatric evaluation demonstrating Christer’s depressive illness, as well as the severe side effects he’d suffered from the psychiatric medications are safely in the past, the court continued to insist in its December decision that Christer suffers from psychiatric illness. Surprisingly, the written decision attributes this “diagnosis” as “…according to the social services’ understanding a factor that affects Christer Johansson’s ability to care.” Evidently, the opinion of a professional psychiatrist with Visby Adult Neuropsychiatry Department holds little weight in the Chamber Court at Stockholm over an “understanding” by personnel at Social Services of Gotland.

Terrorized into submission
While Annie and Christer stood their ground against Visby Social Services of Gotland in defense of their parental rights to raise and school Domenic at home, after the boy was seized the Swedish LVU system soon had Annie and Christer terrorized into complete submission. As recorded in the December 2009 Chamber Court decision, Christer was obviously a man brought to his knees.

The Decision records Christer as agreeing to everything Social Services of Gotland demanded. The Johanssons agreed to enroll Domenic in school, to obtain all immunizations, to provide any other health and psychiatric care deemed necessary by the social board for Domenic. They even went so far as to agree with the social board that Domenic was psychologically delayed as a direct result of not attending day care, preschool and the first grade. The Johanssons were exactly where Visby Social Services wanted them: in complete submission. A Court truly concerned with the child’s wellbeing, however misguided, would here have concluded that with full cooperation from the family in every possible therapeutic suggestion, the need to remove the child should no longer exist. But this was not the aim of the Social Services.

Catch 22: cruelty at its utmost
By December 2009, six months after their precious son was ripped from them, Christer was a man willing to cooperate fully with Visby Social Services, in an effort to restore Domenic to his family. In a sworn statement before the Chamber Courts, this father agreed to follow the entire care planned devised for Domenic, with the exception that Domenic’s care be provided while he continued to live in mandatory foster care. The Johanssons were willing to do everything and anything Social Services of Gotland demanded, so they might finally have their son restored home.

The most cruel aspect of this case is boldly recorded in the December 2009 Court decision. In a Catch 22 scenario, the Johanssons lose their son if they agree to the entire LVU care plan, which includes mandatory foster care; and the Johanssons lose their son if they agree to the entire LVU care plan, with the exception of mandatory foster care. In conclusion, the court wrote, “Question is therefore if needed care can be given voluntarily. In the care plan is, among other things, said that Domenic should be placed in a foster home which Annie Johansson and Christer Johansson have not agreed to. Chamber Court can therefore state that needed consent to needed care is not present. In such a case, the Provincial Court’s decision to give Domenic care according to LVU should stand. The appeals should therefore be denied.”

In other words, the Johanssons submitted to every demand of the Social Services of Gotland. Those demands included what some would describe as a coerced court admission that they had made wrong choices for Domenic as accused by Social Services. The demands also included that the Johanssons must agree to everything in the LVU care plan, including mandatory foster care for their son. Therefore, they were damned if they submitted to all demands and damned if they did not. The maximum possible compliance was obtained from this suffering family, including denying their own natural way of life. Then, when they were in complete submission, they were denied everything.

How to understand this case?

The plain and simple facts are these: A loved, fortunate and healthy child was taken without legal process from his parents for indeterminate (and faulty) ideological reasons. His family was then punished for the trauma they had experienced, and because they did not simply acquiesce in the loss of their child. There is nothing legal, nothing logical, and nothing just in this scenario. That it could happen in a modern and supposedly democratic nation defies belief. Any free citizen of good will, in any country of the world, should be concerned when a government has the power to act in this way unhindered. This case should concern all of us. All parents, all families, and all who believe in human rights and human dignity.

Sweden’s State-Sponsored “Kidnapping” of 7-year-old Homeschooler Approaches One Year Anniversary

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Pro-Spanking (Smacking) Studies May Have Global Effect

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Pro-Spanking Studies May Have Global Effect

Thursday, 07 Jan 2010 11:11 AM

By: Theodore Kettle

Two recent analyses – one psychological, the other legal – may debunk lenient modern parenting the way the Climategate e-mail scandal has short circuited global warming alarmism.

A study entailing 2,600 interviews pertaining to corporal punishment, including the questioning of 179 teenagers about getting spanked and smacked by their parents, was conducted by Marjorie Gunnoe, professor of psychology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Gunnoe’s findings, announced this week: “The claims made for not spanking children fail to hold up. They are not consistent with the data.”

Those who were physically disciplined performed better than those who weren’t in a whole series of categories, including school grades, an optimistic outlook on life, the willingness to perform volunteer work, and the ambition to attend college, Gunnoe found. And they performed no worse than those who weren’t spanked in areas like early sexual activity, getting into fights, and becoming depressed. She found little difference between the sexes or races.

Another study published in the Akron Law Review last year examined criminal records and found that children raised where a legal ban on parental corporal punishment is in effect are much more likely to be involved in crime.

A key focus of the work of Jason M. Fuller of the University of Akron Law School was Sweden, which 30 years ago became the first nation to impose a complete ban on physical discipline and is in many respects “an ideal laboratory to study spanking bans,” according to Fuller.

Since the spanking ban, child abuse rates in Sweden have exploded over 500 percent, according to police reports. Even just one year after the ban took effect, and after a massive government public education campaign, Fuller found that “not only were Swedish parents resorting to pushing, grabbing, and shoving more than U.S. parents, but they were also beating their children twice as often.”

After a decade of the ban, “rates of physical child abuse in Sweden had risen to three times the U.S. rate” and “from 1979 to 1994, Swedish children under seven endured an almost six-fold increase in physical abuse,” Fuller’s analysis revealed.

“Enlightened” parenting also seems to have produced increased violence later. “Swedish teen violence skyrocketed in the early 1990s, when children that had grown up entirely under the spanking ban first became teenagers,” Fuller noted. “Preadolescents and teenagers under fifteen started becoming even more violent toward their peers. By 1994, the number of youth criminal assaults had increased by six times the 1984 rate.”

Since Sweden, dozens of countries have banned parental corporal punishment, like Germany, Italy, and in 2007 New Zealand, where using force to correct children entails full criminal penalties, and where a mother cannot even legally take her child’s hand to bring him where he refuses to go.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, meanwhile, challenges laws permitting any physical punishment of children and has called on all governments in the world to prohibit every form of physical discipline, including within the family.

In the U.S., the National Association of Social Workers has declared that all physical punishment of children has harmful effects and should be stopped; social workers are being trained to advocate against physical discipline when they visit homes. And in 2007, San Francisco Bay area Assemblywoman Sally Lieber unsuccessfully proposed legislation imposing a California state ban on spanking children under the age of four.

Contrary to popular belief, the pediatrician and leftist political activist Dr. Benjamin Spock did not popularize parental leniency. In early editions of his famously bestselling book, “Baby and Child Care,” Spock did not rule out spanking, (although he did later); on the contrary, Spock called for “clarity and consistency of the parents’ leadership,” considered kindness and devotion to be a necessity for parents who spank, and believed that the inability to be firm was “the commonest problem of parents in America.”

Spock’s 21st century disciples, however, depart from his original precepts., which “embodies the strength and identity of world-renowned pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock, providing parents with the latest expert content from today’s leading authorities in parenting,” and embraces Dr. Spock’s “philosophy and vision,” declares that “Punishment is not the key to discipline.”

The parental guidance website contends that “Spanking teaches children that the larger, stronger person has the power to get his way, whether or not he is in the right.” concludes that “The American tradition of spanking may be one reason that there is much more violence in our country than in any other comparable nation.”

Of like mind is the American Academy of Pediatrics, whose official policy says: “Despite its common acceptance, spanking is a less effective strategy than timeout or removal of privileges for reducing undesired behavior in children. Although spanking may immediately reduce or stop an undesired behavior, its effectiveness decreases with subsequent use.”

The academy adds: “The only way to maintain the initial effect of spanking is to systematically increase the intensity with which it is delivered, which can quickly escalate into abuse. Thus, at best, spanking is only effective when used in selective infrequent situations.”

“Timeout,” a widely popularized alternative to physical discipline in which a child is separated from a situation or environment after misbehaving, was devised in the 1960’s by behavioral researcher Arthur Staats as “a very mild punishment, the removal from a more reinforcing situation.”

Gunnoe’s findings are being largely ignored by the U.S. media, but made a splash in British newspapers. It is not the first time her work has been bypassed by the press. Her 1997 work showing that customary spanking reduced aggression also went largely unreported.

Nor is she alone in her conclusions. Dr. Diana Baumrind of the University of California, Berkeley and her teams of professional researchers over a decade conducted what is considered the most extensive and methodologically thorough child development study yet done. They examined 164 families, tracking their children from age four to 14. Baumrind found that spanking can be helpful in certain contexts and discovered “no evidence for unique detrimental effects of normative physical punishment.”

She also found that children who were never spanked tended to have behavioral problems, and were not more competent than their peers.

As in climate change, politicians all over the world seem out of touch with the most rigorous science regarding parental discipline. The newest research could constitute powerful ammunition to parents rights activists seeking to reverse the global trend of intrusive governments muscling themselves between the rod and the child.


Stop beating on Sweden’s parents!

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Stop beating on Sweden’s parents!

By Caroline Olsson

Translation: Ruby Harrold-Claesson, Lawyer, President of the NCHR

This article was previously published on the Swedish Internet Site, – 2009-12-03

Swedish authorities and legal institutions have a negative attitude towards parenthood, which is not good for the relationship between children and parents. Many children need more time with their parents to feel safe. Now the government intends be even stricter with school attendance, and even prevent parents who want to take care of their children’s schooling, so-called Home-schooling. They are also negative to children’s absence from school for travel with their families, and in general they announce “tougher measures” which will not help the confused children.

Children need their parents as life-coaches, but there is so little time in today’s stressful society. Children need a solid relationship with an adult to find their identity, and develop their personalities in a natural way.
Swedish society does not respect parenthood. Parents are seen as some sort of service to the school system, which will ensure the provision of children who are rested, fed, have done their homework and are interested in going to school.

I am sure that very many of the problems of today’s society, have arisen precisely because time for children and parents to be together has shrunk. This has happened gradually, and perhaps imperceptibly. We have given priority to other things, and now we need to wake up and see that too many children are suffering.

Those in power do not see this connection, so now they want to legislate more stringent attendance at school and even “tougher measures”. They want to prevent parents who have the opportunity to take responsibility for their children’s schooling, so-called Home-schooling, by requiring “special reasons”. It will also be more difficult to get time off from school for example to travel with the family. They have not tried to find out how very many children suffer today in the schools, due to bullying, harassment, and the like. Politicians talk about the “right to education”, as if there are no problems in the schools. Many children and young people are experiencing the “right” to attend school and social interaction, which the politicians are talking about, rather like a prison and a torment. A very large proportion of children today are exhibiting anxiety about going to school.

Politicians say: “We must have schools, because we have had them since the 1800s.” Usually it would not be so modern for you to say that something is from the 1800s. We are living in a completely different society now. Back then they wanted to increase public knowledge. But now the level of education of most adults is much higher than primary school, so now there is no reason to force all children to go to school, if the parents have other options.

The Government’s new Education Act Bill sends out a very serious message to all the parents in this country. We are now being prohibited from giving our children a better alternative to going to school. Parents are simply not allowed to judge what is good for their own children.

Sweden needs a new approach to parenthood. We need to see parents as experts on their children. The solution is not to pull children away from their parents even more, but to support children and parents, to make use of all the time they can get to spend together.

Sweden is selling out the immense power that parents’ responsibility for their children represents. This is a disaster. We cannot afford to do without it. It is upon that power that a society rests. If you who are in power continue to display this negative attitude, you will undermine the whole society. You cannot replace parenting by doubling the number of school nurses and counsellors. Parenthood cannot be substituted at all. Your animosity towards parents will only cost countless extra billions.

The forcible taking of children into care and other interventions from the social services in Sweden

Monday, August 17th, 2009

The forcible taking of children into care and other interventions from the social services

Child prisons? In Sweden?
By Siv Westerberg

Report from “The Family Education Trust”
By Lynette Burrows

The Folly of Sweden’s State Controlled Families
Siv Westerberg’s lecture to The Family Education Trust, London, 19/6 1999.

Spectre of Children’s Gulag haunts Sweden
By Chris Mosey

DSS Snatched Child Prodigy – Searching for Another ‘Adoption Bonus’?
By Evelyn Reilly, Massachusetts News

Newborn Snatched By DSS From Parents Who Were In Hiding
By Ed Oliver

The Christine Case
Collection of articles from Associated Press and Fight CPS and Win

Destruction of the Natural Family
By Pamela Gaston

Child died in foster home
By Marianne Sigström

Taking children into care in Sweden
By Linda Ärlig

Enfuriated mother attacked social worker
By Ruby Harrold-Claesson

Barnstable Mother Exposes DSS Abuses
By Eric Darbe, Massachusetts News

Rebecca’s Christmas. A tale of evil from real life
By Ann-Louise Hansson

Children’s rights in the society

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Ruby Harrold-Claesson sent us this translated article:

Children’s rights in the


By Annette Westöö, Göteborg

This year, marks the thirtieth year since Sweden became the first in the world to prohibit child-smacking. The law has attracted much attention internationally and Sweden is considered in large parts of the world as a pioneer country in terms of children’s rights. Bris (Children’s Rights in the Society) notes the anniversary with a campaign where they ask the question “What has actually happened?” It is a sensible question, because now is the time to look back on these thirty years and see what has been achieved. How much is there behind all Sweden’s fine words about the rights of the children?

Five years before the anti-smacking law was passed the Swedish Riksdag (Parliament) passed another controversial law: that of free abortion. Since 1974, this decision led to over 1 million children being killed in our country. The consequences of the two laws in combination are absurd. In Sweden, a parent is prosecuted and tried in court for a slap in the face. The same parents can be – completely within boundaries of the law – to poison, maim and kill their children if they are younger than 18 weeks old. Smacking a child can lead to police action, whereas that same child could have had its head crushed by an adult at an earlier stage of its development – quite legally. The situation is bizarre and profoundly tragic. Save the Children, Bris and other organizations that claim to protect children’s rights – as far as I know – do not lift a finger to save the unborn children.

Where is the logic? I who am approximately contemporary with these laws, I am experiencing great pain over the disaster that contempt for the smallest children’s rights has meant for Sweden. The Sweden that we from the late seventies have grown up in has been deprived of one million citizens. People who would have lived among us as our family members, neighbours, schoolmates, colleagues, friends and spouses. People who would have helped to build this country and take care of the older generation. People who are irreplaceable and unique.

Can all you experts, ideologues and opinion leaders – especially those from the forties – who contributed to the passing of these two laws give me an explanation?

What were you really thinking?

Annette Westöö, born 1977, is a MA in Religious Knowledge and she is a teacher for seven years. She is the vice president of the pro-life organisation “Human Rights for the Unborn” and she is an active member of the Swedish Church. Annette Westöö has for many years been an active protector of children’s and their families’ rights. During the past years she has written several debate articles and opinion pieces about the rights of the unborn child.

The Swedish version of this article has been sent to several Swedish newspapers, but so far its fate is unknown. It is published here with the kind consent of the author.

Destroying the Family: Swedish style

A family flees from the Welfare State

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Original Article:

Barnens rätt i samhället

Annette Westöö, Göteborg

I år är det trettio år sedan Sverige blev först ut i världen med att förbjuda barnaga. Lagen har väckt stor uppmärksamhet internationellt och Sverige betraktas i stora delar av världen som ett föregångsland när det gäller barns rättigheter. Bris uppmärksammar jubileet i en kampanj där man ställer frågan ”Vad har egentligen hänt?”. Det är en klok fråga, för nu är det tid att blicka bakåt på dessa trettio år och se vad som åstadkommits. Hur mycket ligger det egentligen bakom Sveriges alla vackra ord om barnens rätt?

Fem år före anti-agalagens tillkomst stiftade Sveriges riksdag en annan kontroversiell lag: den om fri abort. Sedan 1974 har detta beslut lett till över en miljon barns död i vårt land. Följderna av de båda lagarna i kombination är absurda. I Sverige kan en förälder åtalas och dömas i domstol för en örfil. Samma förälder kan – helt inom lagens råmärken – låta förgifta, lemlästa och döda sitt barn om det är yngre än 18 veckor. En dask riktad mot ett barn kan leda till polisingripanden, medan detta barn kunde ha fått sitt huvud krossat av en vuxen i ett tidigare stadium av sin utveckling –  helt lagligt. Situationen är bisarr och bottenlöst tragisk. Rädda barnen, Bris och andra organisationer som säger sig värna om barns rättigheter har vad jag vet inte lyft ett finger för att rädda de ofödda barnen. Var finns logiken?

Jag, som är ungefär jämnårig med dessa lagar, upplever stor smärta över den katastrof som föraktet för de minsta barnens rättigheter har inneburit för Sverige. Det Sverige som vi sena sjuttiotalister har vuxit upp i saknar en miljon medborgare. Människor som skulle ha levt ibland oss som våra familjemedlemmar, grannar, skolkamrater, kollegor, vänner och makar. Människor som skulle ha hjälpt till att bygga det här landet och ta hand om den äldre generationen. Människor som är oersättliga och unika.

Kan alla ni experter, ideologer och opinionsbildare – förmodligen främst fyrtiotalister – som var med och drev fram dessa båda lagar ge mig en förklaring?

Hur tänkte ni, egentligen?

School Bullying Expected Outcome of Social Agenda

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

MEDIA RELEASE 16 March 2009

School Bullying Expected Outcome of Social Agenda

Family First NZ says that concerns about school bullying are a simple result of the culture we have experimented with, which includes children’s rights, media standards, undermining the role of parents, and removing consequences.

“Why are we surprised by bullying and violence in our schools when children are fed this material through the media constantly,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Kids are bullying each other, kids are bullying teachers, kids are bullying parents. Bullying is not just a school problem, and it’s not just a youth problem.”

“We cannot continue to feed the minds of our young people with the level of violence, sexual content and disrespect for authority that is prevalent in the media and our culture without it affecting the minds of some of our most impressionable and at-risk teenagers and children.”

“But schools are suffering in particular because they are being forced by the Ministry of Education to put up with increasing levels of unacceptable behaviour and are being criticised for suspending these students.”

It is also significant that as schools have removed corporal punishment, schools have become more dangerous. School yard bullying by pupils on other pupils and staff is now the new form of ‘corporal punishment’ in schools.”

“All of these young people have entered a system of education and society where discipline and responsibility are being replaced by the politically correct nonsense of children’s rights. Ironically, this has been pushed by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner who is now crying foul.”

“The anti-smacking law has also undermined the role of parents, has failed to understand the special relationship and functioning of families, and has communicated to some children that they are now in the ‘driving seat’ and parents should be put in their place.”

Sweden, one of the first countries to ban smacking in 1979 suffered a similar fate with assaults by kids increasing 672% in the 13 years following the ban. A recent UN report on European Crime and Safety found that Sweden had one of the worst assault and sexual violence rates in EU.

“Student behaviour and bullying will continue to deteriorate for as long as we tell them that their rights are more important than their responsibilities, that proper parental authority is undermined by politicians and subject to the rights of their children, and that there will be no consequences of any significance or effectiveness for what they do,” says Mr McCoskrie.


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie – National Director

Mob. 027 55 555 42

New Zealand continues to follow Sweden

Monday, August 11th, 2008

From Family First NZ Media Release:

“According to the Police Executive Meeting 6 Month Review papers, there have been no prosecutions for ‘smacking’, but the paper (Official police papers) says that “eight ‘minor acts of physical discipline’ events against children were prosecuted with six yet to be resolved.”

This is what Ruby Harrold-Claesson informed us back in March 2007 about Sweden

March 2007

[4] – “There has been no increase in the number of parents drawn into the Swedish criminal justice system for minor assaults in the past 25 years.”

Rebuttal: Before 1978 no parent would have been drawn before the police and prosecutor like the priest who had slapped his 16-yr old daughter. (See Case 1 in my Case Law). Deborah Coddington quoted Prof. Christian Diesen in her article “Anti-smack campaign fails to pack a punch”, ( Diesen said that there are “7000 reports of child abuse per year in Sweden, but only 10 % are prosecuted.” These are statistics from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.
Diesen says “only 10% are prosecuted.” He wants to see more prosecutions – even if the parents should be found not guilty.

Recent statistics show that there are 11 000 reports of child abuse per year in Sweden and that there has been a 14% increase between 2005 – 2006. See

Discredited Anti-Smacking Advocate Back in NZ

Sunday, July 27th, 2008


July 2008

Discredited Anti-Smacking Advocate Back in NZ

Family First NZ says that Canadian researcher Joan Durrant, who is currently in NZ as a guest of the anti-smacking lobby, has been discredited with her claims made during the anti-smacking debate.

“In fact, her evidence was not even accepted in her home country of Canada when they were debating a similar section to NZ’s s59 of Canada’s Criminal Code,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

A document circulated on behalf of Barnadoes, Plunket, Save the Children, Children’s Commissioner and EPOCH in 2006 stated that “In Sweden, the average annual deaths attributable to child abuse for the past 30 years or so has been less than one every four years.” This was based on a 2000 paper by Joan Durrant A generation without smacking – The impact of Sweden’s ban on physical punishment published by Save the Children which said “The rate of child homicide … in Sweden is something like one every 4 years”

“This statement, now referred to as the ‘Swedish myth’, has proved to be completely inaccurate and Morgan Johansson, the public health minister, said in 2006 that ‘every year, eight to ten, sometimes as many as twelve children die in Sweden due to violence. This has been true for several years.’ Even NZ’s Children’s Commissioner has acknowledged that Durrant’s figures were wrong.”

“Durrant also uses a completely irrelevant definition of child abuse, and excludes the killing of children as a result of neglect, intentional killings, post-natal depression, babies killed within 24 hours of birth, and those accompanied by suicide by the abuser. She has adopted a definition by Somander and Rammer (1991) which also excludes child deaths due to poverty, marital conflicts, alcohol abuse, sparing the child the kind of life led by the perpetrator, and giving no reason for killing the child.”

“No wonder she has misrepresented the effect of the Swedish smacking ban on child abuse rates! Even UNICEF reports have ignored her definition,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Dr Robert Larzelere, who was one of three social scientific expert witnesses on the side of successfully defending a similar section to NZ’s s59 of Canada’s Criminal Code and a member of the Task Force on Corporal Punishment for the American Psychological Association, says that a careful review of Durrant’s findings reveals that her conclusions reflect her “unconditional commitment to an anti-smacking perspective more than an objective appraisal of the data available from her sources.”

Other conclusions by Dr. Durrant have been criticized by other authors, including her conclusions that the Swedish spanking ban led to decreased support for spanking (Roberts, 2000), that child abuse has not increased since 1979 (Lindell & Svedin, 2001), and that child abuse fatalities have been almost nonexistent since then (Beckett, 2005).

“Family First NZ welcomes open, honest, and robust debate on the anti-smacking law, but Joan Durrant has been well and truly discredited as part of this debate,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Read More: “Sweden’s smacking ban: more harm than good” Robert E Larzelere PhD


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie – National Director

Mob. 027 55 555 42