Symposium 2017 - The Laureates

 

 

Presentation Lifetime Awardees 2015


Lifetime Achievement Award


The
Laureates

 



Agneta Pleijel, Author, professor, cultural writer, human rights defender

Agneta Pleijel is awarded the NCHR honours diploma for demonstrated integrity, civil courage and outstanding efforts in journalism and film about children and families who have unjustly become the victims of the interventions of the Swedish welfare state officials.

Agneta Pleijel is a Swedish author, professor, cultural writer, and M.A. in literature history. Agneta Pleijel's biography is very extensive, so we limit ourselves to the contributions she has made within the framework of the NCHR's activities, namely protecting children and their families from human rights violations perpetrated by government officials and courts.

Already in the 1990s, Agneta Pleijel became involved in the debate on forcible removals and foster home placement of children through newspaper articles and as scriptwriter of the award-winning film "The Golden Cage" (GULDBUREN (1990), which was a co-production with Swedish Television. The 3-part-film was screened only once on Swedish TV and Part One was screened during the NCHR's symposium 2016. Prior to the screening of Guldburen on Swedish TV, Agneta Plejel was requested to certify that the film was not based on a real case. She did not.
The film depicts an authentic case, which shows the weak evidence which is used by the civil servants and the trends which exist within the social services.

  Agneta Pleijel is married to Dr. Maciej Zaremba, Ph. D Law, who was awarded the NCHR's Laureate in 2015. She has a daughter, former actress and psychologist, Lina Pleijel.


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Laureate
Lifetime Achievement Award


 

Gro Hillestad Thune, Lawyer, Human Rights Defender

Gro Hillestad Thune is awarded the NCHR's honourary diploma for outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement for children and families who, without pressing need, have fallen victims to the social welfare systems in Sweden and other European countries.

Gro Hillestad Thune is a Norwegian lawyer and politician. She served as a deputy representative to the Norwegian Parliament for Akershus, during the term 1977 - 1981.
A lawyer by profession, Gro Hillestad Thune was a Norway's delegate / judge at the European Commission of Human Rights from 1982 to 1998.

During her first year in the European Commission of Human Rights, Gro Hillestad Thune became acquainted with the swedish social services' system of forcibly removing children from their loving, caring parents and placing them in foster homes among total strangers, through the flag-ship case, "Olsson vs Sweden", which had been filed by the founder of the NCHR, lawyer and former medical practitioner, Siv Westerberg.
Gro Hillestad Thune did not hide her indignation at the Swedish social council's handling of the case, "Eriksson vs Sweden". In the Eriksson case, Gro Hillestad Thune
delivered a concurring opinion, which has become legendary and often quoted by critics of the Swedish system. Gro Hillestad Thune wrote inter alia:
"A situation where the authorities with one hand open the door for a return of the child and then with the other immediately close it, cannot but increase the uncertainty and conflict between the mother and the foster parents. (...) Accordingly, it would be impossible to conclude that the interference with the mother's right to respect for her family life was necessary in the interest of the child.
Finally, I find it very surprising that under the Swedish system a social council can in practice disregard and even obstruct the judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court without resulting sanction."

Gro Hillestad Thune is no longer Norway's delegate in the European Court, but she still actively works to protect and defend children's and families' Human Rights in Norway, the Nordic countries, Europé and the world at large.

Gro Hillestad Thune was awarded the 2009 Prize for promoting freedom of speech in mental health.

Please read "Maktmisbruk i det godes navn" (Abuse of powers in the name of good)



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Laureate
Lifetime Achievement Award

 


 

Nancy Schaefer, former Geogia State Senator, Human Rights Defender, (June 28, 1936 - March 26, 2010)

Nancy Schaefer is awarded the NCHR's honourary diploma, posthumously, for outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement for children and families in the USA in general and Georgia State in particular.

"State Senator Nancy Schaefer was the Founder and President of Family Concerns, Inc., (1985-2005) a non-profit organization located in Georgia. Family Concerns was created for the purpose of strengthening and protecting the family through local, state, national and international policy, and through the education of citizens and leaders in the vital importance of obeying God’s moral law in our society and in our culture. She was also the Founder and President of two Family Concerns Pregnancy Centers in Atlanta, Georgia from (1988-1998), which met the needs of over 5,000 girls and women in the Atlanta area.

Mrs. Schaefer has been a host of several radio shows in the Atlanta area and the author of daily commentaries over WRAF, WEPC, and WTFH in Toccoa, Georgia.

Senator Schaefer was the Republican Nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 1994, the first woman Candidate for Governor of Georgia in 1998, and was elected to the Georgia State Senate from the 50th District in 2004.

As an eight year Trustee of the National Ethics and Religions Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Mrs. Schaefer represented the SBC and Family Concerns, Inc. at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, at the U.N. Conference on Human Settlements in Istanbul, Turkey, at the U.N. Conference on Food in Rome, Italy, and the U.N. follow up Conference to Beijing in New York.

She is a former First Vice President of the Georgia Baptist Convention, a frequent speaker to churches of all denominations, a speaker to civic and political organizations, and a frequent guest on radio and television programs. In 2001, Mrs. Schaefer became the first woman Trustee to serve on the Toccoa Falls College Board in Toccoa, Georgia. She and her husband are presently members of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Toccoa.

Senator Schaefer is married to Bruce Schaefer, and they are parents of four sons and one daughter. They also have 13 grandchildren. Nancy and Bruce live in Habersham County, Georgia. They are North Georgia natives. They spent 30 years living in Atlanta and raising their children there, but were led back to the Blue Ridge foothills in North Georgia where Senator Schaefer serves her constituency in eight counties that make up the 50th District of Georgia." (Copied from Senator Schaefer, Biography)

"Throughout her career as an activist and politician, she was a champion of Christian conservative causes, opposing the department of Child Protective Services (a.k.a. Department of Children and Families). After four years of investigation, on November 16, 2007 she published a report entitled "The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services". After publishing the report, in a press conference she exclaimed that the report caused her to lose her position as a Georgia State Senator." (Nancy Schaefer, Wikipedia)

In her adress at the Policy makers session at the World Congress of Families V, Amsterdam, August 11, 2009, Nancy Schaefer said: "The report cost me my senate seat. However, there are causes worth losing over, and this is one."

However, this cause was so great that there are some who think she lost more than just her seat in the Senate. They think she lost her life.

Nancy Schaefer and her husband were murdered on March 26, 2010, while they were producing a documentary about the families who were victims of the "Child Protective Services."

Nancy Schaefer's work extended beyond the shores of the USA. She was also very concerned about the societal problems with the CPS in Sweden and the Nordic countries.
Nancy Schaefer gave a lecture at the NCHR's Symposium on August 23, 2009.

Please see also: A tribute to Nancy Schaefer


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Laureate
Lifetime Achievement Award

 


Infoga bild

Bruce Schaefer, husband of Nancy Schaefer, former Georgia State Senator, Human Rights Defender, (murdered March 26, 2010)

Bruce Schaefer is awarded the NCHR's honourary diploma, posthumously, for outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement for children and families in the USA in general and Georgia State in particular.
He was very supportive of his wife's political and social visions and commitments.
It is often said that behind every great man, there is a great woman. That is correct! And the opposite is also true: behind every great woman, there is a great man.

Bruce and Nancy Schaefer var two great people, who supported each other in their endeavours to protect children and families in Georgia, to make the State where they lived and worked in particular, and in the USA in general, a safe and caring society that protects the rights of families.
The Schaefers' work extended beyond the shores of the USA. They were also very concerned about the societal problems with the CPS in Sweden and the Nordic countries.

Bruce and Nancy Schaefer were murdered on March 26, 2010, while they were producing a documentary about the families who were victims of the "Child Protective Services."

Please see also: A tribute to Nancy Schaefer


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