Ex-con dad pleads for chance to care for son

Expert says state may be violating UN children rights for being unable to find an eight-year-old boy who has been living underground with his dad for 15 months

A father on the island of Lolland has vowed to remain in hiding with his eight-year-old son until local authorities give him a chance to prove that he is capable of taking care of him.

“I suggest that they give us a chance to prove that we can make it work,” he told DR Nyheder from his hiding place.

The man is an ex-convict who lives off state benefits and has a history of substance abuse. He went underground with his son after Lolland Council threatened in June 2012 to remove the boy from his home out of concern that his health and development were at serious risk if he stayed with his biological parents.

DR met with the man and will broadcast an interview with him this evening. 

Police and local authorities are working on the case, but have been unable to determine his whereabouts.

Betrayed by authorities
It has been more than a year since the boy last attended school. As a result, the authorities fear his language skills have fallen behind other children his age. 

 Stine Jørgensen, a lecturer at the University of Copenhagen, said Lolland council had betrayed the boy by not finding him and making sure he attends school.

“A child has the right to education, according to the constitution and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is the state’s duty to secure his right,” Jørgensen told DR Nyheder.

Hans Erik Lund Rasmussen, the head of Lolland's child and youth administration, rejected allegations that they have been too passive. He said they went to the police as soon as the boy went missing. He acknowledged, however, that the case has been going on for way too long.

“I am sure the police will give you an explanation,” he told DR Nyheder.

The police, however, said the detective in charge of the investigation was currently on holiday and that they would make a comment when he returned.





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