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Author: Sabine Lee

In the early twenty-first century, children fathered by foreign soldiers during and after conflicts are often associated directly with gender-based violence. This book investigates the situations of children born of war (CBOW) since the Second World War, provides a historical synthesis that moves beyond individual case studies, and explores circumstances across time and geopolitical location. The currently used definitions and categorisations of CBOW are presented together with an overview of some key groups of CBOW. Specific conflict areas are chosen as key case studies on the basis of which several core themes are explored. These conflicts include the Second World War (1939-1945) with the subsequent post-war occupations of Germany and Austria (1945-1955). The Vietnam War (1955-1975), the Bosnian War (1992-1995), some African Conflicts of the 1990s and early 2000s, in particular in Rwanda (1994) and Uganda (1988-2006), are also examined. In the case studies, the experiences of the children are explored against the background of the circumstances of their conception. For example, the situation of the so-called Bui Doi, children of American soldiers and Vietnamese mothers is examined. The experiences of Amerasian CBOW who were adopted into the United States as infants following the Operation Babylift and those who moved as young adults following the American Homecoming Act are juxtaposed. The book also looks into the phenomenon of children fathered by UN peacekeeping personnel as a starting point for a discussion of current developments of the international discourse on CBOW.

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The children of the Vietnam War
Sabine Lee

home to a major air base used by the South Vietnamese and Americans during the Vietnam War, she is the daughter of an American serviceman and a Vietnamese woman. Her mother, fearing for her daughter’s safety as the conflict drew to a close in the mid-1970s and when rumours of cruelty towards mixed-race children on the part of the North Vietnamese became commonplace, decided to send Hiep to the US as part of so-called ‘Operation Babylift’. The childhood experiences of Mai Thi Hiep and other Amerasian CBOW were complex, varied and often full of emotional challenges

in Children born of war in the twentieth century
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Children born of war: lessons learnt?
Sabine Lee

and Indochina more generally, claimed their soldiers’ offspring for the French Nation, irrespective of racial provenance. As a result, large numbers of children fathered by French soldiers and born to German mothers were adopted into French families after the Second World War; similarly, CBOW in Indochina who had French fathers were encouraged (or forced) to resettle in France and became French citizens by right. A second example is that of GI children of the Vietnam War: the United States facilitated their exit from Vietnam through the evacuation of Operation

in Children born of war in the twentieth century
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A new dimension of genocidal rape and its children
Sabine Lee

support in identifying their fathers and making contact with them. An interesting case is that of children fathered by American GIs throughout the twentieth century. At first sight, both Operation Babylift of 1975 and the American Homecoming Act of 1986/87, which allowed the immigration of Vietnamese-American GI children conceived during the Vietnam War to the United States from 1987, appear to have been motivated primarily by humanitarian considerations for the welfare of the children. It is tempting to read a genuine concern for the rights and needs of the children

in Children born of war in the twentieth century