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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(7), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7070114

Children’s Personal Data: Discursive Legitimation Strategies of Private Residential Care Institutions on the Kenyan Coast

Institute of Education, Johannes Gutenberg University, 55099 Mainz, Germany
Received: 23 May 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
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Abstract

This article looks at how charity organizations running private residential child care institutions on the Kenyan coast make use of the personal data of children in their care, as a means of securing and maintaining the support of donors from the global North. The strategy involves the online showcasing of children’s profiles—individual children’s photos, accompanied by their names, birth dates, annual development, and their emotion-inducing personal and/or family histories are posted on the respective organizations’ websites, making them accessible to the global public. I analyze and problematize this practice, positing that while it explicitly serves fund-raising purposes and is motivated by the search for cost-effective fund-raising-oriented communication, at a more implicit level, it is equally a strategy used to discursively legitimize the organizations and their child ‘rescue’ activities, within the contemporary climate of deinstitutionalization. This strategy results in a violation of children’s rights; has ethical implications; and is not without consequences for the concerned children’s well-being. View Full-Text
Keywords: children; children’s rights; private residential child care institutions; NGO legitimation strategies; humanitarian representations; Kenya children; children’s rights; private residential child care institutions; NGO legitimation strategies; humanitarian representations; Kenya
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Chege, N. Children’s Personal Data: Discursive Legitimation Strategies of Private Residential Care Institutions on the Kenyan Coast. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 114.

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