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Droits des enfants au XXe siècle

 | 
David Niget
, 
Yves Denéchère

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Chelsea Sambells

Self-Motivated Humanitarianism? The Study of the Evacuation of Belgian and French Children to Switzerland (1941-1945)

Although children in war are considered dependent and vulnerable, they simultaneously possess political and national significance, raising them above other casualties of war. Evacuations were a popular method to protect children, and thereby, defend the future vitality of the state. From 1941-1945, the British, German and Swiss governments collaborated to evacuate some 60,000 Belgian and French children to neutral Switzerland for three-month periods of recuperation. Although the suffering of Belgian and French children was given as the reason behind these governments’ fierce intervention, the true motivations were politically and nationally-dependent, as each stakeholder mobilized for their own self-preservation and to further their own agendas. Paradoxically, then, the effort to protect these children and to further thei...

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