- A father's son has been snatched by Amsterdam Authorities
- By Nicole Pierre
- Contributed by: Sol ( 11 articles in 2018 )
Father Conrad den Hertog and son Martin
Australian boy, 5, is taken from his family in the middle of the night after a neighbour dobbed them in for having a closed curtain
- A five-year-old Australian boy, Martin, has been taken by Dutch welfare workers
- He was taken from his father Conrad den Hertog, 47, in his Amsterdam home
- The child was removed after a neighbour claimed he was being neglected
- Mr den Hertog has since created an online petition asking the public to help
- DFAT is currently providing consular assistance to the Australian father
An Australian five-year-old boy Martin (right) has been taken away from his father Conrad den Hertog by Dutch welfare workers in Amsterdam after a neighbour claimed he was allegedly being neglected in a close curtained room
A five-year-old Australian boy has been taken from his family after a neighbour told the authorities the child was being kept in a room with a closed curtain.
It has been exactly five months since Australian father Conrad den Hertog, 47, who lives in Amsterdam, last saw his son Martin.
Dutch authorities raided his home late on February 1 after a neighbour warned police that the toddler was left abandoned in a spare room with closed curtains.
'Over here, a curtain shut means abuse — culturally they tend to see that as evidence of abuse,' Mr den Hertog told The Courier Mail.
'Martin is being held in a facility and if we do not rescue him from there, the standard procedure here is that after another 13 months Dutch social services will apply to send him to either adoption or foster care,' he added.
Mr den Hertog claimed child protection services wrongfully diagnosed Martin's autistic symptoms with psychological abuse.
An online petition asking the public to help get his son returned back home has also been started by Mr den Hertog.
The petition reads: 'In February 2018 our dearly beloved five year old son Martin was needlessly taken by Dutch social services in the middle of the night, triggered by false neighbourhood gossip that closed curtains in a spare room meant abuse "must" be happening there.
'We have not seen Martin since and may never see him again[...]'
Martin has not been allowed to see his family for more than 150 days.
In the online petition statement, Martin's father reveals his fear of his son being in an institution without contact from his parents.
'We are highly concerned about Martin's welfare and well-being living in institutions, given the lack of personalised care and deep understanding of his unique personality and needs,' the petition reads.
Dutch Ministry of Justice spokeswoman Renske Piet has previously said a child can be removed from the home if its life is at risk - regardless of his or her nationality.
DFAT is currently providing consular assistance to Mr den Hertog.