Policy research report: Immigrant women’s proficiency in English

Policy Matters, an initiative of the Joint Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration Studies (CERIS) has published a summary of recent research on immigrant women learning English.

Reclaiming Voice: Challenges and Opportunities for Immigrant Women Learning English identified barriers and supports to immigrant women learning English. Principal investigator was Kenise Murphy Kilbride. The findings and recommendations resulting from the research have been made available on http://www.immigrantwomen.ca.

2009 immigration levels for Canada

The office of the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has released news on the immigration levels planned for 2009.

Backgrounders to the news release include information on the ministerial instructions for visa officers to assist them in identifying applications that may be given priority consideration. 

‘Live-in caregivers’ continue to be listed as economic-class priorities. 

From the backgrounder, this information on family-class applications:

“Family class applications will be processed in the same manner and with the same priorities as usual. Specifically, applications for sponsored spouses, partners and dependent children shall continue to be placed into processing immediately upon receipt”.

Read the full ministerial instructions, as they appear in the Canada Gazette.

FRP Canada news

The Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs has released a new research report entitled “What Works For Who”. The report is based on a recent literature review on promising practices in parenting education, particularly in working with parents from ‘vulnerable populations’, including parents living in poverty and newcomer parents.

Also, FRP Canada has announced their biennial national conference will take place May 12-15, 2009 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The theme this year is Welcoming Communities

Questions to Jill Heckman at 613.237.7667 ext 231 or conference@frp.ca.

BIOTC conference, Toronto

UNICEF Canada, The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children, the Faculty of Law and David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights, University of Toronto and Justice for Children and Youth are holding a conference on the Best Interests of the Child: Meaning and Application in Canada February 27-28, 2009 at the Faculty of Law, UofT. The conference is supported by Heritage Canada.

Taken from the conference website:

“The Best Interests of the Child is one of the basic principles in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It has been interpreted and applied in different ways in a variety of different contexts in Canada. In 2003, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended that Canada work toward a common understanding and more consistent application of the principle, at the level of public policy formation as well as in decision-making for individual children. 

“The objective of this conference is to deepen understanding of the principle, share experiences of its application, and identify good practices for implementation in Canada. The intended outcome of the initiative is a more common understanding of the principle and improved implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada, including publication of significant findings”.

Organizers are open to receiving submissions for panel presentation and facilitating workshops.  For more information, see the conference website or contact bnoakes@unicef.ca.

Conference & call for papers: Language and reading comprehension for immigrant children

The Language and Reading Comprehension for Immigrant Children (LARCIC) conference will be held in Toronto from May 27-29/09.

From the LARCIC website: “The LARCIC conference will center on four interrelated themes: cognitive and linguistic aspects, instructional/educational strategies, socio-cultural factors, and the impact of research in these areas on policy making.

“The conference intends to facilitate communication and collaboration between researchers,educational leaders, and policy makers. Researchers, policy-makers, educational leaders, and graduate students from different countries will come together to discuss issues pertinent to increasing reading comprehension and enhancing academic achievement among immigrant students at the elementary and secondary level”.

Information on the LARCIC website or contact conference facilitator Jason Wen at larcic.conf@oise.utoronto.ca.

Call for papers information found here. Deadline for submissions is January 8, 2009.

Speech from the Throne ~ Canada’s 40th Parliament begins

Yesterday, the Governonr Genenral delivered the Speech from the Throne, opening Canada’s 40th Parliament. In the SFT, a commitment to work to “increase the uptake of immigrant settlement programs” in the provinces. With regard to children, the SFT included an intention to increase the child care allowance and improve maternity and parental leave policies and benefits.

Full test of the Speech from the Throne in html and PDF.

Research on unaccompanied children in the US

The US-based Center for Public Policy Priorities has released a study of unaccompanied children in the United States who are repatriated to their home countries: A Child Alone and Without Papers: A Report on the Return and Repatriation of Unaccompanied and Undocumented Children by the United States (in English and Spanish, including a two-page summary) is available on the CPPP website.

A few key highlights:

  • Children are routinely mistreated by US authorities
  • Children are denied legal representation 
  • Children are denied access to their Consulates
  • Safety of children transported back to their home countries is not a major concern
  • Children are often returned to unsafe conditions.

The research report includes several key recommendations for policy and practice.

Canada in a diasporic framework

The Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto and the International Institute for Diasporic Studies will hold a conference entitled “Canada in a Diasporic Framework: Future Policies and Agendas“. The conference will be held May 15-17 at the University of Toronto.

“The emerging field of ‘Diaspora Studies’ provides a powerful lens through which to view and understand the contemporary fabric of Canadian society and the opportunities and challenges it faces. In an attempt to proactively address these pressing concerns, the University of Toronto’s Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies and the International Institute for Diaspora Studies are convening an international conference to address the character, capacity and concerns of Canadian Diaspora communities, as both domestic and international actors, in order to analyse, understand and project possible outcomes of these vital dynamics forging twenty-first century Canada. Though focussing primarily on the Canadian context, the conference will also seek to place Canada in a comparative international perspective and to address diaspora issues pertinent to Canada, Europe, Australia and the US, among others”.

Reading the world conference

Reading the World XI – Conference Celebrating Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults will be hosted at the University of San Francisco from March 28-29, 2009. 

 In the words of Professor Emerita Almar Flor Ada:

“The main topic for this forum is the presentation, study, analysis and celebration of books of literay artistic merit created for children and young adults that present the human experience with respect to its multiplicity and diversity and that specifically promote un-learning biases and prejudice, counteracting racism and exclusion, fostering solidarity and respect for all human beings and protection of all living beings; books that question and address problems, that do not propose merely happy endings but responsible solutions that in short, invite children and young adults to see themselves as protagonists of their own human experience and unite them to embrace it with trust, love and hope and contribute to the creation of a world of equality, justice and peace”.

For more information, see the conference website or contact Barbara Hood at 415-422-5110, rtwconf@socrates.usfca.edu or Beverly Vaunghn Hock at 650-342-2817, bevhock@earthlink.net.

First anniversary for immigrantchildren.ca

November 3, 2008 marks the first anniversary of immigrantchildren.ca. It has been a pleasure to find and share information related to immigrant children (birth to age eight) and their families with readers of this blog.

The 200th post went up in early October! The Election Fall ’08 page, with its near-daily updates on immigration issues raised during the recent federal election campaign, received many new visitors.

Suggestions, criticisms and comments are always welcome.