Children engendered by occupying soldiers

Other Names:
Abandoned children of foreign soldiers

During periods of war or occupation of territories by foreign armed forces, or in association with military bases during peacetime, soldiers establish temporary or semi-permanent liaisons with local women, usually during their brief recreation periods from military duties. When children are born of such relationships, the fathers may not accept paternity or may already have moved to other locations or have returned to their home country. Such children grow up without a father (although a proportion also lose their mothers as casualties of war), often with the additional stigma of being physically distinct from their peers, if the father was of a different racial type. Their emotional growth may be further distorted by the vain hope that they may be successfully reunited by the father, and the rejection they experience from their peers.


Such children are engendered as a result of most extended military conflicts. In past soldiers have been tacitly encouraged to force the women of the occupied territories to bear children bearing the genes of the occupying force as a means of extending and maintaining the domination of that culture. The most striking recent case is that of the children of members of the USA armed forces based in Viet-Nam or vacationing in Bangkok. Such children born in the 1970s, are now adolescents, and recognizably non-Asiatic although speaking little of their fathers language. Many live in the hope of being recognized by fathers they have never seen who will care for them in the USA. In 1993, 8,600 children fathered by USA sailors formerly based in the Philippines were the subject of a maintenance order filed in the USA. The USA Navy was asked to set up a $69 million trust fund for the children born to bar hostesses and prostitutes. It has been argued that the Navy effectively contracted with prostitutes to provide "rest and recreation" for the sailors.

Abandoning relatives
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST