New Book: Quartermaster is not a father’s name

"The children Portuguese soldiers left in the Colonial War

Between 1961 and 1974 Portugal endured a colonial war in three African countries that were then Portuguese colonies (Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique). Around a million young Portuguese men were stationed in these territories during the conflict. The end of this war, after a military coup (25th April 1974), was also the end of a 48 year old dictatorship that led to the independency of the three African countries.

The children some of these men had with local women remained a private subject for more than 40 years. It was only discussed among veterans and known only by some of their families, up until 2013, when I first wrote about it in a reportage (text and vídeo) for the daily national newspaper Público. It was the first time this subject was mentioned in the media. In 2015, I went to Angola with a father that knew he had left an Angolan woman pregnant to meet with his unknown son."

by Catarina Gomes (Original Title: Furriel Não é Nome de Pai)

For more information, see here.

Panel Discussion, 19th June 2018

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

2018 Theme: “The Plight and Rights of Children Born of War”

"The effects of conflict-related sexual violence echo across generations, through trauma, stigma, poverty, poor health and unwanted pregnancy. The children whose existence emanates from that violence have been labelled “bad blood” or “children of the enemy”, and alienated from their mother’s social group. Children conceived through rape in wartime often struggle with issues of identity and belonging for decades after the end of war. They are rarely accepted by society, and unsafe abortion remains a leading cause of maternal mortality in conflict-affected settings.

The stigma associated with sexual violence can have life-long, and sometimes lethal, repercussions for both survivors and children conceived through rape. Socioeconomic reintegration support, aimed to alleviate stigma and mend the social fabric, should therefore infuse all post-conflict reconstruction and recovery efforts.

On this day, we strive to foster solidarity with survivors who endure multiple, intersecting stigmas in the wake of sexual violence, including the stigma of association with an armed or terrorist group, and of bearing children conceived through rape by the enemy. Often, these women and children are viewed as affiliates, rather than victims, of armed and violent extremist groups. These children may be left stateless, in a legal limbo, and susceptible to recruitment, radicalization, trafficking and exploitation, with wider implications for peace and security, as well as human rights. However, the issue of children born of war has been missing from both the international human rights framework and from peace and security discourse, rendering them a voiceless category of victims."

For more information, please see here.

New Review on 'My Child Lebensborn'

"My Child Lebensborn review – could you raise a Nazi baby?

The trials of caring for a child of the ‘master race’ are explored in a fearless game that brings the past to life and reveals the damage caused by social isolation"

For more information, please see here.

New Interview: "Hvordan tar vi i mot krigsbarna?"

(Text in Norwegian)

"Korleis behandlar me krigsbarna? Ei kvinne som får barn med ein soldat eller annan part i konflikten i ein krigssituasjon, risikerer å bli fordømt av samfunnet. Det gjeld også barnet som blir fødd. Krigsbarn opplever ofte å bli utstøytte, sjølv etter at krigen offisielt er over. No kjem barn fødde av kvinner som verva seg til IS tilbake til Noreg. Korleis tek me imot dei? Kan me lære noko av måten me behandla barn av norske kvinner og tyske soldatar etter andre verdskrigen"

For more information, please see here.

New Thesis: 'I feel out of place': children born into the Lord's Resistance Army and the politics of belonging

New Thesis by Stewart, Beth W.

"In the aftermath of nearly three decades of conflict in northern Uganda, children born into the rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) experience social, economic, and political exclusion. Thousands were born to mothers and often fathers who were abducted by the LRA and forced to marry inside the rebel group."

For more information, please see here.