Dutch kids increasingly left abroad by parents: report
The number of Dutch children left in a foreign country against their will by their parents, increased over the past years. In 2015 the national hotline for forced marriages and abandonment LKHA received 23 reports of kids abandoned abroad. Last year there were 39 such reports.
The LKHA believes that the received reports are just the tip of the iceberg. The organization estimates that between 170 and 800 children are left abroad by their parents each year.
According to a study by the knowledge platform for integration and society KIS, parents most often leave their kids abroad due to parenting problems and poor communication. "The gap is sometimes too large, KIS researcher Elaine Smits van Waesberghe said to AD. "Parents then collide with their children about norms and values."
For example, parents with an immigration background are sometimes afraid that their children are becoming too westernized in the Netherlands and then leave them with family members in their country of origin. "They see abandonment as a temporary solution to the problems at home or as a positive form of re-education", Diny Flierman of the LKHA said to the newspaper.
According to KIS, being abandoned abroad is almost always a traumatic experience for a child. They are taken from their environment without any preparation, and are sometimes left with family members they don't know. Some of these kids are faced with poverty, neglect and abuse, the organization said. KIS therefore calls for better support for parents in the raising of their child, for example by providing information in community centers and at schools.