The amazing Sarah Ferguson story—Is anyone taking note?

I posted earlier on the fact that Sarah Ferguson, daughter in law (or former daughter in law?) to the Queen of England has become the focus of a major diplomatic row over her participation in a project to uncover the conditions of children living in Turkish orphanages…..See the following article, in which this issue is referred to as a “scrape” that Sarah has supposedly got herself into!

Incredibly, she and the ITN journalist who headed the project are being accused of violating the “privacy rights” of these children! ITN’s Chris Rogers had already  made a name for himself by undercover work in child welfare institutions in Eastern Europe…..

What we are seeing now is a political backlash against anyone from the outside gaining access to neglected children in institutions, all in the name of  “privacy.”  As I have often argued, there is virtually no international access to such children, and thus it is almost impossible to verify whether government statements about “child welfare” are accurate, except through anecdotes or, as here, occasional hidden camera work.

It is too incredible and utterly ironic that Sarah Ferguson, weeping after what she saw in Turkey, should be the one in the position of defendant! Some go so far as to say that what has been shown in these institutions simply reflects the difficulties of caring for children with disabilities!! See for example the (stridently anti-adoption) blog “All children have rights” on this matter:

Can it be maintained with a straight face that what was uncovered by Mental Disability Rights International in Romania, as well as by ITV, and Kate Blewett’s BBC work in Bulgaria (drawing on her ground breaking documentary in China years earlier) represents  an unfair and exploitative showing of children who are “hard to care for”?? This kind of analysis is exactly, precisely what is wrong with much of the dominant discourse of international children’s rights.


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