Fathers seize child agency office

20th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

20 November 2003, AMSTERDAM — A group of angry fathers, who are involved in custody battles over their children, took over an office of the Dutch child protection agency Kinderbescherming on Thursday, the International Day of the Child.

20 November 2003

AMSTERDAM — A group of angry fathers, who are involved in custody battles over their children, took over an office of the Dutch child protection agency Kinderbescherming on Thursday, the International Day of the Child.

Between 15 and 20 men seized control of the building in Zutphen and effectively imprisoned five staff members, Kinderbescherming spokeswoman Annette van der Hoorn said.

The men, who have been denied visitation to their children, said they had taken the drastic action on World Child Day to highlight the injustice of their situations.

They have not allowed anyone in or out of the offices and hung banners from the window of the offices.

The men have demanded the child protection agency only give advice on how custody arrangements should be made. Present legislation means that parents who breach an imposed custody arrangement forfeit their custodial rights.

The fathers have also demanded a meeting with Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner, the mayor of Zutphen and Kinderbescherming director H. Pasman.

Van der Hoorn said the agency's staff members who were being held in the building did not appear to be in any direct danger. Staff were continuing with their work and the police were not called to the scene.

The UN designated 20 November as the International Day of the Child after the signing of an official convention on the rights of children in 1989.

[© Novum Nieuws 2003]

Subject: Dutch news

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