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8. September 2004  
Children left alone while parents party

Norwegian parents who take their children on holiday overseas are increasingly leaving them on their own while they take off to drink relatively cheap liquor. The problem already has cropped up in Spain, and now Norway's ambassador to Turkey is sounding alarms.
"We're lucky that we haven't had any deaths yet, even though we've found babies who are dehydrated," Ambassador Hans Wilhelm Longva told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Tuesday.

Longva said he fears for the health and safety, even the lives, of small children left alone in hotel rooms, often without food or drink. The Norwegian Embassy and consular officers are increasingly being called upon by local tourism officials to come help children who have been virtually abandoned.

The Norwegian embassy personnel in turn cooperate with juvenile protection agencies to care for the children.

Longva said that many of the cases involve single mothers who have taken their small children along on package tours to Turkey, but who end up going on drinking binges for days on end.

He doesn't think the problem is unique to Turkey, which has become a popular tourist destination for Norwegians.

"For me, it's come as a shock that there are so many cases of this," he said, adding that the problem crops up in other tourist destinations as well.

Norwegian authorities recently have been called upon to tackle similar cases involving negligent parents in Spain. The authorities work with Spanish authorities who have been called upon to help children of holidaying parents, many of whom are on long-term trips to Spanish resort areas.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

Leisure [09:47]


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