YEREVAN — A conference of international scholars, “Children and Nation: Forceable Child Transfer and the Genocide Convention Through Historical and Contemporary Lenses” was hosted by the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute and Memorial (AGMI)in conjunction with the Canadian Museum of Human Rights and AGBU on May 12-14.
The conference was co-convened by Donna-Lee Frieze of the Centre for Contemporary Histories at Deakin University in Melbourne; Edita Gyozan, deputy director of the AGMI, and Peter Balakian, Donald M and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities at Colgate University. Distinguished Holocaust Scholar Deborah Dwork, director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity at CUNY Graduate Center, was the key note speaker. AGMI Director and scholar Dr. Harutyun Marutyan presided over the conference.
Scholars from Australia, Canada, Finland, Israel, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the United States presented papers on the theft and brutalization of children during and after episodes of genocide. Topics included Indigenous genocides of children in Canada, South Africa and Australia, forcible removal of Cambodian, Armenian and Spanish, and children in the Holocaust. The scholars also focused on legal understandings of article 2 (e) of the Genocide Convention and understanding the forcible removal of children through literary, testimonial, legal, anthropological, historical and philosophical frames.
Five years in the making, the conference was originally set for April 2020 but due to the global Covid-19 crisis, was postponed several times. The ethical importance of this issue and cohesion of the conference led the group to plan to continue their work together in future meetings. P