International Protest: “STOP Barnevernet Ideology” in child protection laws

Wednesday, September 4th, was the start of an international series of civic protests initiated by Bulgarians. The start is given in Sofia, Capital city of Bulgaria, a country where people are very unhappy about a new ideologized concept of child protection policy which infringes upon the rights of the parents and the integrity of natural family.

The protest is held through the whole month of September 2019 in many cities of Bulgaria and in other cities throughout the world. The local organizers are independent from each other, with many parents turned into grassroots pro-family activists.

The Bulgarians have recently seen the introduction in their child protection laws of a new ideology similar to Norway’s Barnevernet concept, with legal provisions allowing for state kidnapping of children from families based on vague or controversial reasons.

The new legal provisions in Bulgaria

Thus, according to the new laws, Bulgarian activists say that:

  • multidisciplinary teams (police, social workers, psychologists) will be able to enter people’s homes without a court order and remove children even based on anonymous calls saying the child is neglected or abused
  • then the child is literally thrown into foster care indefinitely, the procedure is administrative until it is brought to court, which can take months, maybe years
  • from then onwards, under certain conditions of the law and through non-governmental organizations, the removed child can be adopted by people from all over the world
  • after international adoption, the biological family will never see that child again (personal data such as personal ID number, certificate of birth will be changed).

Romanian law also includes similar provisions, but there is still little institutional capacity to implement them. NGOs are already involved in social services and even adoptions in Romania.

The new concept and ideology were heavily promoted in Bulgaria through Norwegian grants and that is why in some cities the protests are held in the front of Norway’s embassies and consulates.

„We are worried that Norway has heavily invested in Bulgaria. Our politicians are ready to sell our country’s children. We are a small country, we shall never be England or Germany, so we shall never have their standards of living. And yet they are already removing Bulgarian children from their families based on the reason of poverty. And the Social Services Law adopted in March 2019 will be in force starting from January 1st, 2020”, stated for one of the local organizers.

Protests are taking place in September 2019 in Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Italy, Canada, Austria, Ireland, Serbia, New Zeeland, Denmark, Lithuania, USA and even NORWAY.

It all started with a Child Strategy

In 2018, în Bulgaria, 152 NGOs financed from outside the country and non-transparently financed proposed “The National Strategy for the Child 2019-2030”, under the slogan “All rights for all children”. It was forwarded to policy makers and decisional factors.

The strategy was based on the following presuppositions:

  • all parents are incompetent and incapable and are potential abusers for their children (mentally and physically)
  • only the state and NGOs have the right to decide regarding children and children will appropriately develop and thrive only under their expert care.

The strategy had the following characteristics:

  • comprehensiveness of object (it targets all children at conception, no matter whether they are in a need, abandoned or injured, “the strategy targets the three stages of childhood, as a period of the entire human life cycle” – pregnancy and early childhood; childhood; teenage years);
  • conflicted with the Bulgarian Consitution (Article 47): the “raising and upbringing of children“ is the “right and obligation of their parents,“ and the state’s role in this process is to assist them, not replace them.
  • adopted the child-centred model (from the third protocol of the UN Convention, which has NOT been ratified by Bulgaria) – authorizing the child, regardless of the age and maturity, to make decisions and receive social services and counseling without PARENTAL CONSENT.
  • defineed the child as a separate entity, with separate rights, which is contrary to Bulgarian law, ignoring terms such as: minor, juvenile, parent, guardian/custodian, etc.

After a national protest in 30 Bulgarian cities, on 11 May 2019, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister stated: “There will be no Strategy, I will order the Minister of Labor and Social Policy to reiterate in the morning, lunchtime and evening at the briefing that there is no Strategy for the Children”.

Despite his words, the ideas embedded in the supposedly annulled Strategy are being passed as laws and regulations, changes and amendments that are even contrary to the Bulgarian Supreme Law and also contradict AIN principles enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.

The ideas in the spirit of the Strategy were pushed into changes in 28 laws (starting with the Child Protection Act) and a passing of a whole new law – the Social Services Act.

Working for the benefit of various non-governmental organizations that promote gender ideology and sexual education, the Law on Social Services was adopted in March 2019, and will be in effect from 1. January 2020.

„With this law, we have the complete abdication of the state, which openly admits that it is incapable of fulfilling its purpose. The social functions of the state are transferred to private organizations, often international ones (and there is no clear requirement for them to be licensed in Bulgaria). Moreover, every child is their target, not just children in need… The law is working for the benefit of various non-governmental organizations promoting gender ideologies as well as early sexual education.”

Bulgarian activists in a statement published in English on the social media groups

The Bulgarian Group against the proposed “National Strategy for the Child 2019—2030” has now reached over 145.000 concerned citizens, Bulgarians and foreigners living in Bulgaria. There have been numerous information campaigns and protests in over 30 cities across the nation, which have, unfortunately, been widely ignored by the media and politicians alike.

The Strategy and the new approache to Social and Child Services are based on the Norwegian Model and heavily funded by Norway and its grant mechanism. In the name of “the rights of the child,” politicians, lawmakers and NGOs are busy working to undermine what Bulgarians hold dear: the traditional family and the role of the parents.

Much of what has been proposed and developed into law recently is very worrying to parents, especially in view of what is happening in nations where such legal frameworks are in full force: Norway, Finland, and even UK.

THE EVENT BELOW contains in the second part details IN ENGLISH regarding the events from different cities in Bulgaria and other parts of the world:

More info in English:

Other resources


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