French fathers promised more mediation after crane-top protests

Children|Divorce|Family|Family Law|Relationships|February 20th 2013

Fathers’ rights activists in France have been told that mediation will play a larger role in family disputes following a series of crane-top protests.

Justice Minister Christiane Taubira and Minister for Families Dominique Bertinotti discussed an increased focus on mediation with fathers’ rights groups earlier this week, after protestors scaled cranes.

Serge Charnay climbed the 40 metre Titan crane in a Nantes shipyard on Friday, where he unfurled a banner reading “Benoit, two years without a dad”. Mr Charnay lost visitation rights to his son when he was accused of kidnapping the boy. He aimed to highlight his own case with his four day stand, but also said, when he descended to the ground on Monday:

“I didn’t go up there just for my personal case but for the cause of all dads”.

Nicholas Moreno – currently in a legal battle for the right to see his sons Evan and Lucas – also climbed a nearby crane in Nantes on Saturday, coming down after a few hours. A copycat protest was staged by a father in Strasbourg, who descended after two hours, following police intervention.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault ordered Justice Minister Christiane Taubira to meet with representatives of fathers’ rights groups SOS Papa and SVP Papa on Monday afternoon. Political opponents said the government had given in to blackmail by meeting these groups.

Photo of the Titan crane in Nantes by Xiaozhuli via Flickr under a creative commons license.

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