The Orphan Industrial Complex

Blog / By ZAM Reporter
Photo: author unknown. Photo: author unknown.

Children in the global south are targets for charitable intervention by Western do-gooders. Campaigns aimed at 'orphan rescue' drive the 'production' of orphans -who in reality often have at least one living parent- while established international standards for child protection are ignored. Kristen Cheney, senior lecturer at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, describes the ‘orphan industrial complex’ in her book Crying for Our Elders: African Orphanhood in the Age of HIV and AIDS, based on a case study in Uganda.

Cheney speaks about her book on Thursday 14 September at 3h30 PM at the Africa Studies Centre (ASC) in Leiden. See for more information and/or registration the ASC website.

In April 2015, ZAM published Anas Aremeyaw Anas' investigation into ‘voluntourist’ child abuse. Read the story on the Bawjiase Countryside Orphanage in Ghana here.