» Archive for category: ‘orphans


An illegal babies home in Uganda that was closed down in 2013

An illegal babies’ home in Uganda that was closed down in 2013

ISS CYS staff member Kristen Cheney has become embroiled in Dutch public debates about the future of foreign adoptions.

On 1 November 2016, the Netherlands’ Raad voor Strafrechtstoepassing en Jeugdbescherming (RSJ – in English, The Council for the Administration of Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles) issued a report (in Dutch) advising the Dutch minister of security and justice to ban all foreign adoptions. Among their reasons for coming to this conclusion were documented illegalities and unethical practices in the intercountry adoption system. The report cited scholarly literature — including Cheney’s work — that argues that intercountry adoption can lead to greater institutionalisation of children and/or disrupt the development of robust child protection systems in the children’s countries of origin (see more of Cheney’s research on the topic here).

The Netherlands’ pro-adoption lobby immediately kicked into gear: Several faculty members of the Leiden University Knowledge Centre for Adoption and Foster Care (ADOC) immediately criticised the RSJ report. Marinus (Rien) van IJzendoorn in particular questioned the quality of the research on which the RSJ report based their decision. This included one of Cheney’s articles, Addicted to Orphans: How the Global Orphan Industrial Complex Jeopardizes Local Child Protection Systems, which was co-authored with Karen Smith Rotabi, Associate Professor of Social Work at United Arab Emirates University.

Flyer announcing hunger strike by Guatemalan mothers whose children were abducted into adoption

Flyer announcing a 2009 hunger strike by Guatemalan mothers whose children were abducted into adoption

Cheney claims that the way that van IJzendoorn’s blog distorted the articles’ arguments warranted a personal response — but it also raised crucial concerns about what constitutes ‘quality research’ and the ab/uses of ‘scientific objectivity’, particularly when it comes to social justice and child protection.

See Cheney’s full rebuttal and discussion of these issues at OpenDemocracy.net. She hopes to be called to the Minister’s roundtable on the topic in early 2017.

‘Moving Children’

Category: migration| orphans| OVC

15 Feb 2016

leeds

Contemporary debates on children’s involvement in migration mostly pay little attention to historical instances of child movement (see also HERE). An upcoming event hosted by the University of Leeds goes some way in addressing this concern.

The event is entitled ‘Moving Children: The history of child removal in comparative perspective’ and will take place on 8 and 9 April 2016. The Call for Papers states as a central objective: ‘By illuminating continuity and change in the practice and ideology of child removal across the twentieth century, our goal is to shed comparative light on the historical experience of child removal in order to better understand the relationship between interventions into family life in the present and the past.’

One of key note speakers, Christina Firpo, presented an early version of her work in the ISS research in progress series. The full programme is pasted below.

 

Friday 8 April

9.30    Coffee and welcome

9.45    Opening remarks

10.00  Key note lecture:  Shurlee Swain: Race and Removal

 

11.30  Panel One: The Nineteenth Century

Claudia Soares (University of Manchester)

Agency, resistance and co-operation: families’ attitudes towards and experiences of child removal policies and practices in the nineteenth-century

 

Steven J. Taylor (University of Huddersfield)

British Children, Canadian Adults: Childhood Emigration to Canada in the Late-Nineteenth Century

 

12.30  Lunch

2.00    Panel Two: The Interwar Years

Mariena Hirschberg (European University Institute, Florence, Italy)
Philanthropy and problem families: The Child Emigration Society in the interwar years.

Will Jackson (University of Leeds)
Moving children: race, emotion and the politics of child removal in Cape Town, 1919-1939

Emily Baughan (University of Bristol)
“A Child to Keep For A Dollar A Week: International Adoption and Interwar Diplomacy, c. 1918-1925”

4.00      Roundtable: Understanding children – now and then

5.00      Drinks

 

 

Saturday 9 April

10.00  Panel Three: The Second World War and after

Lucy Bland (Anglia Ruskin)
‘Race and Nationhood post World War II: disputing the sending of mixed race GI offspring to the US
Verena Buser (University of Applied Sciences, Berlin)

UNRRA as identity maker: Child Search after the Second World War

 

11.30  Coffee

12.00  Roundtable: The role of the state and the role of society

1.00    Lunch

2.00    Panel Four: Authoritarian regimes

Mirjam Galley (University of Sheffield)
Builders of Communism, ‘Defective’ Children, and Social Orphans: Soviet Children in Care

Peter Anderson (University of Leeds)
Good Parents and Bad Parents: child removal in Spain in the early twentieth century

Diana Marre (Autonomous University of Barcelona)
Moving and removing children in contemporary Spain

 

4.00    Keynote lecture: Christina Firpo: A Failure of Altruism: Métis Child Welfare Programs in Vietnam 1890-1975

 

 

5.30    Drinks

Kristen_Cheney

Cheney

A new special issue of the journal Global Studies of Childhood on ‘Children and young people in times of conflict and change: Child rights in the Middle East and North Africa’ has just been released. The special issue, which is the culmination of a TEMPUS-funded project in which several European universities with programs in children’s rights – including ISS – collaborated with four universities in Jordan and Egypt to develop a diploma program in Public Policy and Child Rights. ISS faculty member Kristen Cheney was involved in the project, and she also served as co-editor of the special issue with Debbie Watson of Bristol University and Heba Raouf Ezzat of Cairo University.

Hind

Farahat

The special issue includes an article by ISS alumna Hind Farahat and Cheney. Entitled “A facade of democracy: Negotiating the rights of orphans in Jordan”, the piece draws on data and findings from Farahat’s MA research to argue that Jordanian orphans’ direct action during the Arab Spring did not yield its expected results due to the persistently patriarchal social and legal constrictions of their citizenship in Jordan.

Farahat graduated from ISS with a degree in Social Policy for Development and a specialization in Children & Youth Studies in 2013. She currently works as a program development officer for TechTribes as well as director of child and youth programs for the Ecumenical Studies Center in Amman.

You can view the full table of contents for the special issue on the Global Studies of Childhood website.


International Institute of Social Studies

ISS is an international graduate school of policy-oriented critical social science. It brings together students and teachers from the Global South and the North in a European environment.