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Shameless Self Promotion

[ 6 ] May 19, 2010 |

My new book Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond is finally out from Columbia University Press.

Basically, it’s all you never wanted to know about why children born of wartime rape have been overlooked by the human rights movement for the last two decades, and how this could be changed. Here’s what’s on the back cover:

Sexual violence and exploitation occur in many conflict zones, and the children born of such acts face discrimination, stigma, and infanticide. Yet the massive transnational network of organizations working to protect war-affected children has, for two decades, remained curiously silent on the needs of this vulnerable population.

Focusing specifically on the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, R. Charli Carpenter questions the framing of atrocity by human rights organizations and the limitations these narratives impose on their response. She finds that human rights groups set their agendas according to certain grievances-the claims of female rape victims or the complaints of aggrieved minorities, for example-and that these concerns can overshadow the needs of others. Incorporating her research into a host of other conflict zones, Carpenter shows that the social construction of rights claims is contingent upon the social construction of wrongs. According to Carpenter, this prevents the full protection of children born of war.

Comments (6)

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  1. Suzan says:

    Thank you.

    You’re my idea of an angel.

    Wonderful idea and follow through!

    I read many studies of the children left behind after the Vietnam conflict, and wondered about the response of the human rights community.

    I’m going to have my library order it!

    Again, my thanks!

    S

  2. Larkspur says:

    Thank you. This is now on my to-buy list. This is hugely important. I’m anxious to read about the Bosnian experience, and presumably places like Congo. I mean, the problems faced by mixed race children in Vietnam and Korea only partially intersect with the problems of children (and their mothers) born of deliberate rape-terrorism and ethnic cleansing. Note I’m not saying easier or less shocking, but in some ways quite different.

    I guess your book is gonna break my heart, yes?

  3. Witt says:

    On a possibly-related note, I have been surprised to learn how relatively many countries do not have birthright citizenship. Especially for children born to mothers who were raped, have no contact with the rapist, and have been displaced/are refugees, this seems like it could create a whole new class of potentially-stateless people.

    Not sure if your book covers this particular wrinkle, but it seems like a related issue.

  4. djw says:

    Coincidently, I assigned your chapter on the subject from the Clifford Bob volume in my human rights seminar this week. Congrats–looking forward to taking a look at the book.

  5. Scott Lemieux says:

    Echo the congrats! Really looks like a fantastic book, and luckily I have a law&society grad course in the fall…

  6. Suzan says:

    Congrats, again!

    The Greensboro, North Carolina, public library has ordered your book.

    Thank you for all you do for the world.

    We are ever so grateful.

    Suzan
    _________

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