StatsCan study: Canadian immigrant labour market

Statistics Canada today released a study on the quality of employment in the Canadian immigrant labour market.

StatsCan finds that there were differences in indicators of quality between non-immigrants and immigrants, with immigrants experiencing, on average, lower wages than non-immigrants. But, for newcomers who made Canada their home for more than 10 years, the indicators “more closely resembled those of Canadian born”.

Again, finds that investigations into employment-related issues – and, especially, quality of employment experiences – neglects to include availability of high-quality, accessible child care as an indicator.

Child trafficking seminar, Toronto

The Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto presents a lecture on child trafficking by PhD candidate Antonela Arhin entitled “Children as Commodities: Human Trafficking, Transnational Flows and Markets”. From the announcement: “Explore the concept of human trafficking, its different forms and causes with an emphasis on child trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation within the context of supply and demand. Join us for a thought provoking discussion”.

The event will be held Thurs. Nov 26/09, 2-3:30 at the Jackman Humanities Building rm. 318 at the University of Toronto, 170 St. George St.. rsvp to

Multiple diversities: immigrant and refuge child identity, Toronto event

The Community Health Systems Resource Group, Learning Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children presents a symposium on Dec 1/09 on Multiple Diversities: Child/Youth Identity and Life Outcomes.

From the flyer: “How do the ways that we see young people affect the way they see themselves?  What are the impacts on their health and well being? How can we use existing knowledge to ensure optimal life outcomes for all of Canada’s immigrant and refugee children? This symposium will be of particular interest to:  educators, health care professionals, social service providers, policy makers, non governmental organizations, child/youth associations, researchers and students”.

The symposium will be held in the MaRS Discovery District, Toronto.

Conference call for papers: Children and war

Children and War: Past and Present is the title of an international, multidisciplinary conference to be held Sept 30-Oct 2/10 at the University of Salzburg, Austria.

An edited excerpt from the call:  “In recent years the volume of research on ‘Children and War’, by academics, governmental and non-governmental organisations and institutions as well as the media, has  continually increased. At the same time there has been a growing public interest in how children experience military conflicts and how their lives have been affected by war and its aftermath.

“Proposals which focus on any topic and theme on ‘Children and War’ are welcome, ranging from the experience of war, resettlement, trafficking, trauma and amnesia, the trans-generational impact of persecution, individual and collective memory, educational issues, films and documentaries, artistic and literary approaches, to remembrance and memorials, and questions of theory and methodology”.

Themes anticipated include children as witnesses and victims and child soldiers.

Abstracts of 200-250 words and bios of 50-100 words should be sent to conference co-cordinator Prof Johannes-Dieter Steinert, Modern European History and Migration Studies, University of Wolverhampton:, as well as any requests for more information.

Britain apologizes to home children

Federal Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, The Honourable Jason Kenney, continues to get positive responses from media and, as translated by an Environics poll, average Canadians, for his revamped citizenship guide, released last week. The new guide, Discover Canada, outlines the rights and responsibilities of new immigrants to Canada, and provides a more in-depth look at Canadian history than the previous editions, including, much to Kenney’s (and his advisor’s) credit, some of the shameful ways immigrants have been treated in this country.

For example, the guide acknowledges that Chinese immigrants were welcome to build the national railway, but afterwards, “were subject to discrimination including the Head Tax, a race-based entry fee; the Government of Canada apologized in 2006 for this discriminatory policy” (p.20). The guide also acknowledges the “relocation of West Coast Japanese Canadians by the Canadian government, and the forcible sale of their property (during WWII)…The Government of Canada apologized for wartime wrongs inflicted on Japanese Canadians” (p. 23). welcomed the release of the new revised guide last week and hoped that it would include acknowledgment of the treatment of the “home children” – the approximately 100,000 children who were sent to Canada in a child emigration scheme and who were, as history tells us, routinely neglected, abused and often worked to their deaths. The new citizenship guide did not include mention of these littlest immigrants. was delighted to read that the British government has apologized to the home children it sent away (see, for example, this piece in the National Post). A spokesperson from the organization Home Children Canada welcomed the news and demands such an apology from the Canadian government. The apology is not forthcoming.

The “home children” represent another shameful period in Canada’s history and also merits acknowledgment – in the next edition of Discover Canada, in the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, in a permanent display at Pier 21, in history text books and in an apology.

In two days, Canada will celebrate National Child Day and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. To keep moving forward on child rights, Canada needs to admit to its historic wrongs.

York University (Toronto) annual summer course on refugee and forced migration studies

This year’s Summer Course on Refugee and Forced Migration Issues by the Centre for Refugee Studies, York University will be held May 8-16/10 at the Keele Campus. Fee is $975 Cdn, if you register before Feb 26/10 (fee goes up to $1100 after that date).

For more information, visit the conference course website , email and refer back to previous postings at

International Migration Studies at Georgetown University

Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies in Washington DC announces a certificate in International Migration Studies. The certificate program includes courses in:

Canadians are welcome to register. For more information, visit the Georgetown University website.

New citizenship guide for new Canadians

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism today released an updated guide to Canadian Citizenship. Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.

The launch of the “study guide” (last published in 1997) was held at the Terry Fox Centre, where Minister Kenney talked about inspiration, fortune and his vision for modern Canada. The announcement – and guide – provide a generous nod to Canada’s military history and major events (the 1997 edition skipped quite a bit of this, including Vimy Ridge, Juno Beach, Dieppe). The guide also does not shy away from some shameful periods in Canada’s past, such as the residential schools for Aboriginal children, the Internment of Japanese Canadians and the Chinese Exclusion Act, but I was disappointed to not see mention of the home children.

Canadian history must acknowledge the home children – some 100,000 children taken from their homeland and brought to our shores to serve labour needs that Canadians could not or would not take on (sound familiar?). A great many of these children were younger than 10 years old and lived lives of brutality. These children were not adopted in the sense of how we use the word today, but taken, often bought and treated as chattel.  I’ll be lobbying the Canadian Museum of Human Rights to include an exhibit on the home children. Who’s with me?

Consultation on child care for newcomer families

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has funded the organization CMAS (Childminding Monitoring Advisory Support) to conduct a national consultation of the settlement community, including immigrant serving organizations, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) administrators and childminders, towards the development of a new child care model for newcomer families. The consultation process includes an online survey and teleconferences. See the CMAS website for information and details.

Seeking proposed panel members: Changing intra- and inter-generational relationshps in migration for CARFMS 2010

From the H-CHILDHOOD@H-NET.MSU.EDU listserv: Proposed panel on changing intra- and inter-generational relationships in migration contexts for CAFRMS 2010:

“I am interested in proposing a panel on intra- and inter-generational relationships in migration contexts for the third annual conference of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS), hosted by McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on May 6-8, 2010. The conference theme is Forced Migration: Challenges and Change.

“Within this context, I am soliciting expressions of interest from colleagues working on age, generation and family relations to participate in a proposed panel on dynamic intra- and inter-generational relationships within contexts of migration. I believe that this could be an opportunity for researchers and practitioners working with migrants (interpreted broadly to include asylum seekers, refugees, internally displaced people,at different phases of the life cycle from infancy to old age to come together around the common theme of dynamic generational relationships. The panel would seek to address the overarching conference theme of challenges and change. Papers addressing conceptual, theoretical, empirical and/or methodological issues are welcome.

“Please submit a 250 word abstract and short (one paragraph) bibliography by January 5th, 2010 to: The panel proposal will then be submitted to the conference organizers, who will take the final decision on whether or not the panel will be accepted”.

Christina Clark-Kazak, DPhil
Assistant Professor, International Studies, Glendon College, York University
2275 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4N 3M6
Tel: 416.736.2100 ext 88106

Related post: Call for papers: Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies

For more information on the CARFMS conference, contact Heather Johnson –, or visit the conference website.

20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Nov 20th is National Child Day in Canada and International Children’s Day across the world. It marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention is the most widely ratified human rights instrument in the world. The Convention lays out the rights all children everywhere have in the rights of provision, the rights of protection, and the rights of participation. In 1990, Canada co-hosted the World Summit for Children, which launched the Convention.

Two related conferences, coming up, are worth exploring:

The University of Ottawa is hosting a symposium of the Interdisciplinary Research Labratory on the Rights of the Child, Nov 18-20, 2009. The symposium will examine children’s right to participation. The symposium will consider how to integrate the views of children into research. From the conference website: “Research results that more effectively reflect the views of children will assist child-service and child-protection organizations in improving the intervention policies and practices targeting their young clients”.

The University of Victoria, along with the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), the British Columbia Association of Family Resource Programs and the British Columbia Association of Infant Development Consultants will host a conference Feb 4-6, 2010 entitled “The Rights of The Child” to be held at the Fairmount Express.

Selected related links:

Related post: Best Interests of the immigrant, refugee, culturally diverse child.