Court dismisses legal challenge against Norway's removal of children from Christian parents

Bodnarius family


A five year old battle over parental rights in Norway fails to come to a solid resolution. In 2015, Norwegian child authorities had actively moved to seize five children, claiming that parents, Ruth and Marius Bodnarius, had  spanked their children and that the parent’s Christian beliefs would "handicap the children's development."

The family took their case to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that the actions by Norway's child protection agency, known as the Barnevernet, violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to private family life, and the family's freedom of religion under Article 9.

Dismissing their legal challenge, the ECHR asserted that the family should have challenged the government's actions within Norway before bringing it to the ECHR.

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