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First Police brutalizes Children, later Court and Youth Welfare Office isolate them from their mother

The VOICE Refugee Forum Protests against Continuous Harassment of Nigerian Family

First Police brutalizes Children, later Court and Youth Welfare Office isolate them from their mother

„They are destroying my children, they don’t help them. If we protest, they give us more problems. There is no human right.” (Claudia Omoroghomwan)

The Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants with the VOICE Refugee Forum speak out against the treatment of the family Omorghomwan/Oronsaye (Posseck/Markneukirchen) by the authorities of the Vogtlandkreis, i.e. especially by the foreigners’ authority and the youth welfare office.

In solidarity with Claudia Omoroghomwan and her children, we protest especially against the recent forceful separation of the three girls Sophia, Sandra und Sonia Omoroghomwan from her adoptive mother Claudia Omoroghomwan and their youngest daughter Dammiana Oronsaye, the persons they are most familiar with.

The Caravan and The VOICE Refugee Forum demand from the youth welfare office and the foreigners’ authorities of the Vogtlandkreis to give justice to the family immediately.

We urge on the family’s immediate reunification and their transfer to a central private accommodation - where the family can develop the urgently needed social and religious contacts and where they can live under conditions which are necessary for the healthy development of mother and children.
In solidarity with all other inhabitants of the isolation camp in Posseck we further stand for its immediate closure.
While demanding the end of the scandalous treatment of refugee children in general, I demand the complete application of the UN convention of children’s rights and the withdrawal of the discriminating exception.
It is the right of every human being to live in human dignity and to be respected in his/her autonomy and unhindered self-realization. This is valid especially for children.
We call on public and press to join our demands and to address to the foreigner’s authorities and the Youth welfare office of Vogtlandkreis in the interest of the family Omoroghomwan/Oronsaye. Please write faxes and emails or phone to protest against the authorities’ behavior and make it public. Please contact also Frau Claudia Omoroghomwan and express your solidarity.

Background

The girls’ Sophia (14), Sandra (13) and Sonia (9) Omoroghomwan had followed their adoptive mother Claudia Omoroghomwan in the years 2004 and 2006.The care for the children was given to her, the father’s sister, after the parents had died by a car accident in 2002. In 2003 Mrs. Omoroghomwan officially adopted the children. Even when the parents were still alive, the children partly lived with her. The girls regard her as their mother. She is the most familiar person for them and she is the person they have confidence in.

For years they have lived with Claudia and her youngest daughter, Dammiana Oronsaye, in the refugee camp in Posseck (Vogtlandkreis/Sachsen) in social isolation. In this remote camp located in the middle of the forest where they had no contact to other children and no possibility to attend school for a very long time until recently but under very difficult conditions. Regular and reliable medical care is not being provided for Mrs. Omoroghomwan who is pregnant and furthermore suffers from chronicle back pains. Because of the living conditions in the camp Mrs. Omoroghomwan was always very worried about the psychological health, the emotional development and the future of her children. She had reported the situation to the Jugendamt in 2007 but the response was that nothing can be done about it. Also her applications for transfer to a different Landkreis/district with better living conditions were systematically rejected.

Thus, the three older girls found themselves forced to change their lives themselves by leaving from Posseck. This decision to flee to a children’s home was in order to escape those living conditions that are hostile to their well-being as children but unfortunately they were confronted with police brutality on May 16th 2008. From the AWO- children’s home in Treuen, they were deported against their will to Posseck-the forest refugee camp, handcuffed and faced with physical violence by the police.

This violent action was initiated by the Youth welfare office. These proceedings showed clearly that the youth welfare office of Vogtlandkreis did not act in the interest of the children’s welfare - even when the family court in Plauen already choosed them as Ergänzungspfleger“. The reason for this treatment by the police as reported in the media, that the children “had to be protected from themselves” is cynical as the shelter the children were seeking from the hostile conditions in Posseck was denied to them by this forceful return.

Instead of creating better living conditions for the family, the authorities showed their racist and discriminating attitude by exercising another forceful action by completelz separating the three older girls from their mother. Under formal reasons, the care for the children has totally been taken from Mrs. Omoroghomwan, the guardianship for the children was transferred to the youth welfare office according to a courts’ decision from June 23rd 2008. At the moment, Sophia, Sandra and Sonia live in the children’s and youth’s home Sonnenschein, separated from their mother. Although they initially preferred children’s home to the life in Posseck, they are now suffering from the forceful and systematical separation from the mother. Now, they are not allowed to visit their mother, deprived the right to see her whenever they wish because the youth welfare office has relegated their mother to one visit per month, under surveillances and one telephone call weekly!
Mrs. Omoroghomwan is seriously worried about their situation also because the children are not allowed contacts with friends of the family, their lawyer and their wish to attend church service in Plauen as well as the deprivation from receiving calls their church community members. Mrs. Omoroghomwan reports that they are always kept in the house without permission to go out. Their pocket money is not given to them.

The children always cry while they express their pains to Mrs Omoroghomwan on her visitation. Mrs. Omoroghomwan was astonished that for years the authorities had not been interested in her family situation but all of a sudden started to separate the children from her influence right after her application for a private house and the public awareness that this violent action of police and youth welfare office in May had created.

Together with Mrs. Omoroghomwan, The Voice protests against the abuse of the childrens rights as it suits the authorities.

We protest against the family’s abuse by the authorities’ of Vogtlandkreis. Isolation, controls and embarrassments by the administration of the Lager and the authorities for years, physical and verbal harassments against the children, the discreditation of the mother and her competence, the attempt to remove the children from her influence and thus deprive them of their African root and identity – all this expresses the racism of the authorities, abuse of power and disregard of the family’s basic need and human rights.

We stand in solidarity with Mrs. Omoroghomwan who has always defended herself against the treatment of the authorities and made their racism public.

For more information, please contact Mrs.Omoroghomwan (0152 - 0531 2491)

For more information see:
http://www.thevoiceforum.org/node/796

-Visit in the refugee camp near Posseck (Sachsen), January 2008 by the Family of Claudia Omoroghomwan.
A Report from The VOICE Refugee Forum Meeting in Jena, 26/27.02.2008.
http://thevoiceforum.org/node/781

- Brutal police intervention against refugee children from Nigeria in Treuen (Saxony) Germany
http://thevoiceforum.org/node/822

The VOICE Refugee Forum

Schillergäßchen 5, 07745 Jena,
Tel. 0176-24568988, Email: voice_mail@emdash.org,
Internet: http://www.thevoiceforum.org

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