In recent weeks, it has been reported that the Norwegian authorities have taken permanent custody of three American children from their Christian parents. Natalya Shutakova, a US citizen, and her husband, Lithuanian citizen Zigintas Aleksandravicius, are now allowed to visit their children only three times per year. Sadly, this is not particularly shocking to those who have been working to protect parental rights in Europe.
It seems remarkable that this can be happening in a country that positions itself as a human rights champion. Through its Agency for Development Cooperation, Norway devotes more than $400 million per year to its priority areas, including the protection of human rights. It is therefore ironic that, despite its public efforts to protect human rights, a human rights violation it would have rather kept hidden has been exposed to the world.