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

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

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, or Beverly Vaunghn Hock at 650-342-2817,

First anniversary for

November 3, 2008 marks the first anniversary of 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.

Call for papers: The economics of integration – children of immigrants and temporary migration

The Economics of Immigration: Children of Immigrants and Temporary Migration will be held May 11-12, 2009 in Vancouver BC.

The conference is intended to provide a forum for discussing innovative theoretical and empirical research on two important topics in migration research: economic issues related to the children of immigrants, and temporary migration. Possible topics (of interest to readers) include:

  • economic conditions faced by the children of immigrants
  • intergenerational integration
  • racial/ethnic stratification, segregation, and attitudes
  • social capital of immigrants and their children

Those interested in participating should submit a complete paper, in PDF format, to the program committee by January 1, 2009. Submissions must be made via e-mail to:

All presenters will be provided with hotel accommodations for 3 nights plus all meals for the 2 days of the conference. Funds may become available for air transportation …Major funding for this event is provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Metropolis British Columbia. Institutional support is provided by Metropolis British Columbia, CReAM, and Simon Fraser University.

Source: CERIS November 2008 Newsletter.

New federal cabinet

The Governor General has sworn in the next cabinet for the 40th Parliament. Of interest to readers, these posts:

For Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism: The Honourable Jason Kenney, former Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

For Human Resources and Social Development: The Honourable Diane Finley, former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. will update the blog, revising any relevant pages over the next little while.

Children’s books about immigration III

More books for children on the theme of immigration:

How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman.

When Jesse Came Across the Sea by Jesse Hest.

The Memory Coat by Elvira Woodruff.

Small Beauties by Elvira Woodruff.

My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits.

Naming Liberty by Jane Yolen.

Marianthe’s Story: Painted Words and Spoken Memories by Aliki.

The Great Migration by Jacob Lawrence.

Dia’s Story Cloth: The Hmong People’s Journey of Freedom by Dia Cha.

I Hate English! by Ellen Levine and Steve Bjorkman.

The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco.

The Colour of Home by Mary Hoffman.

Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen.

See former posts on this topic:

Children’s books about immigration, posted Jan 22/08

Children’s books about immigration II, posted Mar 11/08.

Call for reviews: International Journal of Multicultural Education

Taken from the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) listserv: “The International Journal of Multicultural Education (IJME) is soliciting reviews of multicultural children’s books for its fall issue on Indigenous cultures to be published in December. Reviews can be done for picture books, easy readers, transitional readers, chapter books and literature for young adults.

“IJME is a peer-reviewed open-access journal for scholars, practitioners and students of multicultural education. Committed to promoting educational equity, cross-cultural understanding, and global awareness in all levels of education, IJME publishes two issues a year on various multicultural education topics. 

“The review should consider the text from a multicultural perspective, paying attention to multicultural and monocultural themes, civil rights, cultural normativism, intercultural exchange, hybridity and so forth. Some questions might be: How does the author represent relationships between characters of different races or ethnicities? Does the text advocate for multicultural ideals in terms of political correctness or of civil rights? Are its representations of culture authentic or pejorative? Is this book likely to change the minds of its readers? Will it strengthen the convictions of those readers who share its perspective? How does this book compare with similar books on this theme?

“For picture books, additional questions might be, does the artist create authentic individualistic representations, or are they generic or stereotypical? Do the illustrations enhance the value of the text or are they superfluous? Do they possess pedagogical value in themselves, pointing toward traditions or unusual modes of representation”?

Submissions should be sent to More information can be found at the IJME website. Deadline is December 1, 2008.