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UK judge urges tolerance in ruling on Traveller children

UK judge urges tolerance in ruling on Traveller children

A High Court judge asked to make decisions about the welfare of three traveller children says tolerance must be shown for the traditions of different communities.

Mr Justice Mostyn said the children, aged between two and nine, had not been cared for in a conventional fashion and there had been incidents that went beyond "robustness" and into the realm of neglect.

But he said the children's progress had been "broadly satisfactory".

He said a local authority had not asked a judge to rule that the youngsters should be taken into care and social workers wanted to continue to work with their parents.

Details of the case have emerged in a ruling by the judge following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Social services staff had been supervising the parents for more than two years and had asked the judge to allow supervision to continue.

Mr Justice Mostyn approved the extension of an order which would allow the parents to continue caring for the youngsters under the supervision of social workers.

"I have always been strongly of the view that tolerance must be shown, in a spirit of diversity, to the traditions of different communities," said the judge.

"The parenting in this case has certainly been far more, one might say, robust ... than one would expect in the conventional nuclear family."

He added: " (The parents) must understand very clearly that even though the court is tolerant of their different traditions, their fundamental obligation is to care properly for their children and they must do so."

No-one involved was identified in the ruling.