“Forgotten victims of war”. Invisible, though stigmatised: the case of children born of wartime rape and conflict-related sexual violence

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Hermus, Nina
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Conflict-Related Sexual Violence has many disastrous consequences, yet one consequence that is systematically ignored is the children being born as a result from such violence. This research focuses on children born of wartime rape, the often “forgotten victims of war”. The aim of this study is to explore how the human rights of these children, enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, are compromised, while, additionally, identifying ways to rectify these violations and safeguard the child’s rights in an adequate way. This research adopts an innovative approach that sheds a light on four different cases: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Uganda, Colombia and Myanmar. It examines in a comparative way key issues that affect the lives of these children. Stigmatisation, discrimination, statelessness, abuse, economic hardship and, at worst, infanticide; the findings reveal that the human rights of these children are systematically violated, irrespective of time and space. However, before analysing the multitude of violations on the human rights of children born of wartime rape, this research will begin with tackling the root cause of the issue: conflict-related sexual violence, too often falsely perceived as a mere by-product of war. This research will analyse this complex phenomenon by stepping away from the classical explanations of patriarchal culture, sexual desire or opportunity and will demonstrate on the basis of feminist discourse that conflict-related sexual violence not only has, but can be effectively be prevented.
Second semester University: University of Cyprus. Global Campus awarded thesis 2019/2020.
armed conflict, sexual abuse, rape, children, children rights, discrimination, statelessness, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Uganda, Colombia, Myanmar, child abuse