In a recent post the Feminist Review discusses R. Charli Carpenter’s new book, Forgetting Children Born of War. The book explores why the human rights community does so little to protect children born as a result of rape during war. Here the review explains the conflict of interest focusing on the children creates for human rights organizations:
Through an exhaustive study of media, NGO reports, and interviews, Carpenter comes to understand that children born of war have been forgotten and neglected because human rights advocates focus instead on the problem of ethnic cleansing and genocide, as well as the women who have been subjected to sexual violence. Focusing on the children born of rape is understood as a conflict of interest. War rape is talked about and viewed “through lenses of nationalism, feminism, and humanitarianism rather than through a children’s rights frame.” Rape is a crime and the woman who experiences war rape is a victim; forced pregnancy and rape are weapons of ethnic cleansing. This is how the issue is dealt with in the context of the human rights agenda. Thus, the child conceived through rape is understood as a product of violence, as a “tool of genocide,” rather than as a human being in need of special protection.