The Orphan Industrial Complex: The Charitable Commodification of Children and Its Consequences for Child Protection
- 199 Downloads
Orphans are often seen as the quintessential children in need of intervention to prevent their suffering. Many charitable organizations promote the building of orphanages, encourage volunteer work at such institutions, and even posit international adoption as a solution to purported “orphan crises.” Western demand for humanitarian experiences with orphans thus engages children in developing countries directly with international capital through an increasingly prevalent lay humanitarianism in developing countries whose “orphans” are targeted for “rescue.” Such engagement, we argue, is fostering the growth of a global “orphan industrial complex.” This chapter explicates the concept of the orphan industrial complex to argue that persistent narratives of “orphan rescue” not only commodify orphans and orphanhood itself but—counter to their stated goal—can actually spur the “production” of “orphans,” resulting in child exploitation and trafficking. The orphan industrial complex is therefore jeopardizing not only children but families, communities, and even entire national child protection systems.
- African Child Policy Forum. 2012. Africa: The New Frontier for Intercountry Adoption. Addis Ababa: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF). https://app.box.com/s/c10712fae8e637f72a04.
- Among, Hope. 2014. Study of Legal Guardianship and Adoption Practices in Uganda. Kampala: UNICEF. https://bettercarenetwork.org/sites/default/files/Study%20on%20Legal%20Guardianship%20and%20Adoption%20in%20Uganda.pdf.
- Bartholet, Elizabeth, and David Smolin. 2012. “The Debate.” In Intercountry Adoption: Policies, Practices, and Outcomes, edited by Judith Gibbons and Karen Smith Rotabi, 233–54. Burlington: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Bergquist, Kathleen Ja Sook. 2009. “Operation Babylift or Babyabduction? Implications of the Hague Convention on the Humanitarian Evacuation and ‘Rescue’ of Children.” International Social Work 52 (5): 621–33. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0020872809337677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cheney, Kristen E. 2015. “The Cognitive Dissonance Between Child Rescue and Child Protection.” OpenDemocracy: Beyond Slavery. https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/kristen-e-cheney/cognitive-dissonance-between-child-rescue-and-child-protection.
- Cheney, Kristen E., and Karen Smith Rotabi. 2014. “Addicted to Orphans: How the Global Orphan Industrial Complex Jeopardizes Local Child Protection Systems.” In Conflict, Violence and Peace, edited by Christopher Harker, Kathrin Hörschelmann, and Tracey Skelton, 89–107. Singapore: Springer Science + Business Media.Google Scholar
- Cole, Teju. 2012. “The White-Savior Industrial Complex.” The Atlantic, March 21. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/.
- Court of Appeals of Uganda. 2011. In the Matter of Deborah Joyce Alitubeera and Richard Masaba. In Civil Appeal Nos. 70 & 81 of 2011. Kampala: Court of Appeals of Uganda.Google Scholar
- Freidus, Andrea, and Anne Ferguson. 2013. “Malawi’s Orphans: The Role of Transnational Humanitarian Organizations.” In Vulnerable Children: Global Challenges in Education, Health, Well-Being, and Child Rights, edited by Deborah Jean Johnson, DeBrenna LaFa Agbényiga, and Robert K. Hitchcock, 203–15. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Government of Uganda. 1997. The Children Act. Kampala: Government of Uganda.Google Scholar
- Joyce, Kathryn. 2013. The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption. New York: Public Affairs.Google Scholar
- Kim, Eleana. 2005. “Wedding Citizenship and Culture: Korean Adoptees and the Global Family of Korea.” In Cultures of Transnational Adoption, edited by Toby Alice Volkman, 49–80. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
- Mezmur, Benyam D. 2010. ““The Sins of the ‘Saviours’”: Child Trafficking in the Context of Intercountry Adoption in Africa.” Information Document No. 2 for the Attention of the Special Commission of June 2010 on the Practical Operation of the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, The Hague, the Netherlands. http://www.hcch.net/upload/wop/adop2010id02e.pdf.
- Namubiru Mukasa, Sylvia, and Kristen Cheney. 2017. “Embedding Social Justice in Ugandan Adoption and Legal Guardianship Cases.” Childhood in Africa 4 (1): 23–33. https://www.ohio.edu/global/cis/african/upload/Childhoold-in-Africa-V4-I1-2017-Spring.pdf.
- O’Loughlin, Ed, and Megan Specia. 2018. “Irish Leader Apologizes for Adoptions That ‘Robbed Children’ of Their Identity.” New York Times, May 30. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/30/world/europe/ireland-illegal-adoptions-apology.html?module=inline.
- Pinheiro, Paulo Sérgio. 2006. World Report on Violence Against Children. Geneva: United Nations. https://www.unicef.org/violencestudy/I.%20World%20Report%20on%20Violence%20against%20Children.pdf.
- Raad voor Strafrechtstoepassing en Jeungdbescherming [Council for Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles]. 2016. Bezinning op Interlandelijke Adoptie [Reflection on Intercountry Adoption]. The Hague: Raad voor Strafrechtstoepassing en Jeungdbescherming. https://www.rsj.nl/binaries/Bezinning_interlandelijke_adoptie_tcm26-174311.pdf.
- Riley, Mark. 2012. Baseline Study: The State of Institutional Care in Uganda. Kampala: Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development.Google Scholar
- Rotabi, Karen Smith, and Nicole F. Bromfield. 2017. From Intercountry Adoption to Global Surrogacy: A Human Rights History and New Fertility Frontiers. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Selman, Peter. 2014. International Adoptions from Africa 2003–2013. The Hague: The Hague Conference on Private International Law. https://assets.hcch.net/upload/adostat2003-2013afr.pdf.
- Siegal, Erin. 2011. Finding Fernanda: Two Mothers, One Child, and a Cross-Border Search for Truth. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
- Sinervo, Aviva. 2017. “Interdependent Industries and Ethical Dilemmas: NGOs and Volunteer Tourism in Cusco, Peru.” In Cultures of Doing Good: Anthropologists and NGOs, edited by Amanda Lashaw, Christian Vannier, and Steven Sampson, 142–62. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press.Google Scholar
- Smolin, David. 2010. “Child Laundering and the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption: The Future and Past of Intercountry Adoption.” University of Louisville Law Review 48 (3): 441–98. https://works.bepress.com/david_smolin/8/.
- Terre des Hommes, and UNICEF. 2010. Paper Orphans. Kathmandu: Image Ark Ltd. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B5QiFFxAu4.
- The Hague Conference on Private International Law. 1993. The 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. The Hague: Hague Conference on Private International Law.Google Scholar
- The Hague Conference on Private International Law. 2012. Accreditation and Adoption Accredited Bodies: General Principles and Guide to Good Practice No 2. Bristol: Family Law.Google Scholar
- Tuyền, Bùi Thị Thanh, and Mary Elizabeth Collins. 2016. “Young People Transitioning from Out-of-Home Care.” In Youth Leaving Care in Developing Countries: Observations from Vietnam, edited by Mary Elizabeth Collins and Bùi Thị Thanh Tuyền, 329–48. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- UNICEF. 2006. Africa’s Orphaned and Vulnerable Generations: Children Affected by AIDS. New York: UNICEF, UNAIDS and PEPFAR. https://www.unicef.org/publications/index_35645.html.
- UNICEF. 2011. End Placing Children Under Three Years in Institutions—A Call to Action. UNICEF. http://www.crin.org/en/docs/UNICEF_A%20call%20to%20action_cahier_web.pdf.
- U.S. Department of State. 2017. Trafficking in Persons Report. Washington DC: Office of the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/271339.pdf.
- van Doore, Kathryn E. 2016. “Paper Orphans: Exploring Child Trafficking for the Purpose of Orphanages.” International Journal of Children’s Rights 24 (2): 378–407. http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/15718182-02402006.
- Walker, Chris, and Morgan Hartley. 2013. “Cambodia’s Orphan-Industrial Complex.” The Atlantic, June 3. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/06/cambodias-orphan-industrial-complex/276472/.
- Williamson, John, and Aaron Greenberg. 2010. Families, Not Orphanages. Better Care Network Working Paper. New York: Better Care Network. https://bettercarenetwork.org/sites/default/files/Families%20Not%20Orphanages_0.pdf.