The Nordic Tour 2014 – “Conflict resolution, knots and artwork” (9th to the 19th of September) is about to come to an end.
Attorney and mediator Pia Deleuran (Deleuran law firm, Denmark), Associate Professor Dale Bagshaw (School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, University of South Australia), and photographer and artist Sisse Jarner, Denmark, have toured most of the Nordic countries to investigate custody and visitation issues in the family law field in each country. They report that:
“in all countries visited the messages were similar: that the ‘best interests’, welfare, safety and the rights of the child are often forgotten or ignored in family law matters, in particular where there are allegations of family violence (domestic violence and child abuse). Instead, the focus of decisions tends to be on the rights of parents, in particular on the rights of fathers. Since the focus of family law in each country has shifted to ‘shared parental responsibility’, many cases involving violence against children and mothers have not been adequately investigated and in some cases mothers and children have been put at risk by the decisions made. The impact of gender neutral legislation, the failure to adequately screen for and respond to violence, and the failure to acknowledge the effect of witnessing violence on children, or to adequately address attachment issues for children, urgently need further investigation. We also detected failures to provide access to fair and just court and administrative procedures. For example, in some countries we visited, the law makes it almost impossible for professionals with appropriate expertise to thoroughly investigate allegations as there is an emphasis on focusing on the future.”
Much needs to be changed for the Nordic countries to live up to the Istanbul Convention on Violence Against Women and Children, which was enforced on August 1st this year.
The three investigators will send their report in pictures and words to the Administrative Director of the UN section for the Equality and Empowerment of Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and to the Nordic division, which is lead by Asger Ryhl. It is anticipated that they will develop further initiatives to ensure that policies and practices in the Nordic countries lead to zero tolerance for violence against women and children.
The full report is expected to be online within two weeks: www.nordictour2014.dk
The three investigators thank the Dreyer Foundation and the National Organisation of Women’s Shelters in Denmark – LOKK – for having made the Nordic Tour 2014 possible by offering various kinds of support.
For more information please contact:
Attorney and mediator Pia Deleuran – email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 0045 30246803
Associate Professor Dale Bagshaw – email: email@example.com (available for@ interviews via skype)