Turkish parliament criticises the Netherlands on fostering children

The Turkish parliament’s human rights committee has issued a highly criticial report on youth services in the Netherlands, saying the authorities are too quick to take children away from their parents, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

In addition, not enough consideration is paid to the religious and cultural background of children when they are placed in foster care, the committee’s report states.

The report follows a row earlier this year over the placement of a Turkish baby with a lesbian couple. The boy is now nine and his biological mother is campaigning for his return.

Family

‘It is the fundamental right of every child to grow up with its own family and parents in a healthy environment,’ the Volkskrant quotes the report as saying. It will be debated by the Turkish parliament on Wednesday.

The report recommends that courts should decide whether a child should be removed from home, that the child must have the chance to speak its mother tongue and that the aim of the placement should not be to assimilate children into Dutch culture.

The Turkish ambassador should always be informed if Turkish nationals are involved, the report states.

The Turkish parliamentarians, who visited the Netherlands in June, also expressed surprise that there are no cameras in Dutch police cells and that people can be held for three days before appearing in court.

In Turkey, detainees are under surveillance and appear before a judge after 24 hours. They are also given medical checks on arrival at a police cell and when leaving, the Volkskrant reported.