A nine year old girl of Polish origin was abducted while in the care of the state child protection services (Barnevernet) Tuesday evening. Celebrity private detective Krysztof Rutkowski has taken responsibility for the kidnapping, explaining that he has returned the girl to her parents in Poland.
The girl has been living in Norway for several years, attending both kindergarden and school. In May, state child protection services decided to remove the girl from her parent’s custody and place her in an emergency home facility. The kidnapping has been reported to police in Vestfold county, but jurisdiction issues are complicating the case as the girl is a Polish citizen and has already been brought across the border.
“The Child Welfare Act applies to all children residing within Norwegian borders, regardless of nationality and citizenship. It is a crime to abduct a child from a child protection services institution or emergency residence.” Kjetil Hillestad, communications director for the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir) told newspaper Aftenposten.
The matter would have to be pursued under The Hague convention and the decision to do so would have to be made by the Justice Department or Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The convention generally concerns abduction cases where parents have different nationalities, and one parent has taken the child to their home country. According to Hillestad, the convention is not likely to be relevant in this matter, meaning that there is little hope that the young girl will be returned to Norway.
Polish authorities have adamantly denied all knowledge of the kidnapping, though embassy officials confirm that the parents had been in touch with them in June, requesting assistance in the matter. “There is no need for serious concern about the situation the girl is in now,” Simen Tveten, the lawyer representing the parents, told Aftenposten. “State child protection services had intervened because they feared that the psychological care was inadequate, something her parents disagreed with.”
This is the second kidnapping in recent memory of children currently in the care of the state child protection services, though the outcome in the first case was more positive. The two girls kidnapped from their emergency home in Hadeland last week, were safely returned and the culprits have been placed in detention.
Views and News staff