Finland, let Mihai and maria go home
Mihai and Maria have been returned to their loving family this week (5th March 2021)! Our joy cannot be expressed in words. You can read all about it on our News section, in our latest blog updates.
A family split apart, now fighting to reunite
Camelia Smicală, MD, is living a nightmare. Her family has been torn apart by the Finnish Child Protection Services and authorities. In 2015, after years of violent domestic abuse from her Finnish husband, the Tampere Child Protection Services decided to take away her two Finnish-Romanian children. The Finnish police have not investigated any of the multiple acts of violence committed towards Ms. Smicală or the children by the husband. The Finnish Child Protection Services did not respect the law when taking away the children, nor have they answered for their repeated abusive treatment towards Mihai and Maria – which is still going on.
Since 2015, Dr. Smicală has been fighting to reunite her broken family – against the many lawsuits filed by her harassing husband, against the abusive treatment of her children, which should not be institutionalized in the first place, against the Finnish system itself, which is known for its inhumane family-separating practices.
This documentary from the Romanian National Broadcasting Company TVR about the Smicală-Jalaskoski case has English subtitles.
We cannot stand by and let such inhumane acts happen.
Camelia Smicală’s case is sadly not unique. The Nordic countries (Norway, Finland, Sweden) have a dark history around unjust family division and treatment. Tens of thousands of Finnish families are looking at the Smicală-Jalaskoski case, because if Mihai and Maria come home, maybe their children, who were taken away as unjustly, will be able to come home too.
1. Reuniting Maria and Mihai with their family
"Children at school laugh at me because I live in an orphanage, yet I am not an orphan" are the words of Mihai Smicală-Jalaskoski. These children, now 14 and 13, deserve to go back to their loving family, as they have expressed on numerous occasions, including via the Children's Lawyer. We hope that our actions can speed up this long-overdue process.
2. Setting a legal precedent for others in need
There are tens of thousands of children currently separated from their families in Finland on no real grounds. If Dr. Smicală manages to revoke the court order through which the Finnish state took away her children and get Mihai and Maria back, this would set an important legal precedent for other families to try to reunite as well.
Facts about the case
Maria and Mihai are the two children who have been illegally and irresponsively taken away from their mother by the Tampere Child Protection Services in Finland. You can watch how the children were taken away here.
Since 2015, Dr. Camelia Smicală has been fighting and praying to be reunited with her children, and finally live a normal family life. Currently, she is forbidden to see or visit her two children.
Number of petitions, pleas, court filings, and letters sent not only to the Finnish authorities who are involved with the case, but also to the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations. So far, Finland has ignored all rulings.
EUR in court-related payments that Dr. Camelia Smicală has had to pay up until today. Many of these court hearings were organized with the idea of leaving Dr. Smicală in debt, so as to discourage her from seeking justice.
By choosing to act in this way, finland is violating multiple point of the Geneva Declaration of the rights of the child
The following rights have been violated by the finnish authorities:
- the fundamental right of the children to their family;
- the fundamental right to choosing their home;
- the fundamental right to education;
- freedom of expression and choice;
- the right to justice and protection, and the access to a lawyer that can represent the children;
- the right to freely practice their religion and access to a spiritual guide.
One mother cannot do it all alone. Show your support to the Smicală family by visiting their GoFundMe page.
There are many ways in which you can help
Firstly, get informed. Read about the case, watch the documentary provided by the Romanian National Broadcasting Company TVR (above). Check out our Timeline of Events page, where we have mapped out every single important piece of information about the case: how it happened, what has been done so far, where we are now.
Secondly, let others know about this case. Information is key, especially when fighting a culture of silence, which has been the approach of the Finnish authorities regarding their deeply unethical and illegal actions. Making people aware that this case and hundreds of thousands of similar ones are happening in the Nordic countries is essential to breaking an unhealthy vicious cycle. You can read the official state apology coming from the former Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services in Finland, Juha Rehula, to all the mistreated and affected children who have been tortured by the Finnish child protection services over the decades.
Thirdly, and most importantly, get active. Go to our Join the Cause page, and find out what you can do to help. We’re collecting signatures for the biggest petition that was ever signed for Mihai and Maria, we are talking to politicians, organizing protests, donating to the Smicală family and more.
Your contribution is getting us one step closer to ending this nightmare for the Smicală-Jalaskoski family.