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Official launch of the ERC consolidator grant “EuroWARCHILD”

Categories: GESIS-News

Copyright PRIO/Laura Cortes

From 2021-2026 the EuroWARCHILD project will explore the experiences and needs of three generations of children born of war in Europe: children fathered by enemy soldiers during World War II, children conceived through conflict-related sexual violence during the Bosnian war, and children born of European foreign fighters to ISIS/Daesh.” Ingvill Constanze Mochmann from GESIS and professor II at the University of Oslo is co-PI of the project which is led by Inger Skjelsbæk, professor and director of the Centre for Gender Research (STK) at the University of Oslo.

June 1st 2022 the EuroWARCHILD was officially launched. The event took place at the peace Research Institute Oslo which is also partner in the project. It was attended by researchers, practitioners, and policy makers and started with a key note by Under-Secretary-General Pramila Patten, who is the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on sexual violence in conflict. Her speech offered a glance into the high-level discussion on the rights of children affected by war, and particularly CBOW.

The official title of the launch was “What Does It Mean to Be a Child Born of War?”. A major part of the event was thus hearing the voices of children born of war. The panel discussion led by Ingvill Constanze Mochmann focused mainly on three questions, namely: “What does it mean to grow up as a child born of war? Which are the most basic rights that need to be ensured for children born of war? How can societies best care for children born of war after conflicts end?”

The panelists Lejla Damon, a child conceived by rape during the civil war in Bosnia,  Elna Johnson, child of a Norwegian woman and German soldier born in Norway during WWII and Winfried Behlau, conceived by mass rape by Red Army soldiers at the end of WWII in Germany shared some very strong personal experiences and reflections. Dr. Norman Mukasa – an expert on CBOW in Uganda and presently visiting researcher at GESIS – added the knowledge available on CBOW born in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

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