Broadcasted on 5 May 2018
Roelie Post: The Life of a Whistle-Blower
But first our investigation. About a sensitive subject: adoption of a child from abroad is more and more under discussion. The investigative programme Zembla recently brought the news about adoptions from Sri Lanka and in April the Dutch docu drama Exportbaby was broadcasted – about corruption with adoptions from Uganda. Last year the Council for Criminal Justice and Youth Protection [RSJ] advised to forbid adoptions from abroad.
One of the first who brought out the fact that adoption and child trafficking are closely connected, was Roelie Post – civil servant of the European Commission in Brussels.
End nineties she worked there on the problems with children’s rights in Romania; these needed to be solved before accession of Romania to the European Union would be possible. Post got confronted with opposition and threats that were so serious that she now has retreated to a small village in the north of the Netherlands. She has a long-lasting conflict with her employer: the European Commission.
They do not acknowledge her as whistle-blower and threaten with disciplinary measures.
Hélène van Beek visited her.
I stand here in front of the door of Roelie Post. It is a picturesque little street, stepped gable houses, in a very small village in the North of the country. It is Sunday. I have an appointment with Roelie Post. But the doorbell does not work. I better knock.
There she is.
Roelie: Hello Helene
Hélène: Can I come in?
Roelie: Yes, of course
Hélène: Thank you, let’s have a look. Here we are.
Roelie is looking quite nice. A well taken care of woman in her fifties. Somewhat distinguished. Wearing a nice big neck chain. Tastefully dressed in black. One would almost say: Brussels’ chique.
What does the expert in the field of adoption and child trafficking here in this little house in the north of the Netherlands?
Roelie spoke last year as expert in the Dutch Parliament during a hearing about intercountry adoption.
Chair of the meeting was Madeleine van Toorenburg from the Christian Democratic Party.
… long, fascinating, very interesting day. Without doubt also a day that will bring about a lot. I say that on purpose because I also know that some of the people here will perhaps say things about which you think, … what do I think about that. That will happen, but I want to ask you to just listen well. The Members of Parliament want to take these remarks into consideration when they debate the issue.
Adoption is a sensitive issue.
A discussion about it is always surrounded with many emotions.
The Hearing is organised because there is a far reachting advice to stop the adoption of children from abroad.
The Vice-President of the Council for Criminal Justice and Youth Protection (RSJ) explains the advice:
And therefore we advise to provide help in the country of origin as a better means then intercountry adoption – to protect children.
This is an unexpected clear message. For the first time an official advisory committee speaks out against intercountry adoption.
And we know it has consequences for future wish parents. But nevertheless we made this consideration, because the interest of the child must be the only and decisive interest.
Then one of the experts is introduced: Roelie Post.
She deals since many years with irregularities in intercountry adoptions worldwide. Bureaucrats and journalists often use her expertise. She was also closely involved with the script of Exportbaby, a docu drama about adoptions from Uganda which was last month broadcasted on TV.
And now, at the request of politicians, she gives her opinion about the report of the advisory committee.