From their website, “The Rights for Children and Youth Partnership: Strengthening Collaboration in the Americas (RCYP) is a SSHRC funded project. The goal of this project is to increase knowledge and factors that either support or hinder the protection of children and youth rights in the Caribbean, Central American and disproportionately represented populations in Canada.
“This project features a collaboration of research from universities, government, and non-government, and international organizations. Researchers involved in the project come from eight different countries around the world including: Canada, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Trinidad & Tobago”.
RCYP will be relaunching their blog this fall and are seeking contributions from researchers, practitioners and children and youth to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences regarding children and youth rights.
Related upcoming event: This Thursday, January 25th, Culture Link is holding an open house to introduce its Children and Youth Centre in Toronto. See you there?
CMAS | Care for Newcomer Children * is a federally funded program that provides supports, resources, and helps organizations, to provide culturally appropriate child care for newcomer families participating in the Language Instruction for Newcomers in Canada program.
They have just launched a section on Parenting in their website. The Parenting pages provide useful information and resources, including multilingual resources in:
Parenting ~ information to help newcomer families adjust to parenting in Canada, including multilingual resources covering general parenting practices
Child development ~ information, resources and ideas to encourage the cognitive, social, emotional, and language development of children
Health and safety ~ information on nutrition, immunizations, mental health, physical activity guidelines, and product recall information
School readiness ~ information on how to support a smooth transition to the school system.
*CMAS (formerly known as Childminding Advisory and Support Services) is funded through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and was founded in 2000. More recently, it supports and promotes the care for newcomer children model. “Childminding” is no longer used.
I asked Ruhksana Khan:
What’s the effect of racism, discrimination, and stereotyping on newcomer children?
They suffer. Feeling like they’re less. I’m not sure if there’s much the host country can do to change this. It comes down to people valuing personal character above possessions and that kind of goes against human nature. We tend to get impressed by fancy things.
There’s much discussion on integration of immigrants. What kinds of services or supports do newcomer children need to successfully integrate in Canada?
I think it would be good to get students to partner up with the newcomer students so that they might feel less lonely and isolated. The local students could learn about where the newcomers are coming from, and read Coming to Canada to gain empathy of how difficult it would be to uproot oneself.
They can also take a look at my book Big Red Lollipop which deals tangentially with assimilation as it’s a story of a family that’s new to North America and the idea of only the invited child going to birthday parties.
If you could influence the federal minister of citizenship, refugees, and immigration to do one thing for newcomer children, what would it be?
Find ways in which newcomers can contribute to the host country as soon as possible. I think it needs to be a two-way street. Newcomers have to feel as though they’re not beholden, that they’re making a contribution towards bettering Canada so the ‘charity’ isn’t going only one way.
What is one of your favourite children’s books that you would recommend for newcomer children? Why?
My book Coming to Canada is used by the Settlement Workers in the Schools program to help newcomers adjust to life in Canada. I would recommend it. I think it contains realistic expectations and I focused on the resources that make Canada such an amazing country like the library and education systems.
Rukhsana Khan is an award-winning author and storyteller. She was born in Lahore, Pakistan and immigrated to Canada at the age of three.
She grew up in a small town in southern Ontario and was ruthlessly bullied. When a grade eight teacher told her she was a writer, she thought the idea was crazy. Writers were white people. They were from England and America.
To be ‘sensible’ she graduated from college at the top of her class as a biological-chemical technician. When she couldn’t get a decent job she decided to be ‘unsensible’ and become a writer. It took eight years to get her first book published. Now she has twelve books published (one of which was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the 100 greatest children’s books in the last 100 years).
immigrantchildren.ca is asking Canadian experts and advocates in immigration, settlement, refugees, and newcomers about their views on newcomer children (birth to age eight). For more interviews, see here.
Sunday July 30th is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons ~ a few links with information, resources, and how you can help, with a special focus on the campaign of Save The Children
Save the Children
“Child trafficking is a crime that exploits girls and boys for numerous purposes including forced labor and sex. Because child trafficking is lucrative and often linked with criminal activity and corruption, it is hard to estimate how many children suffer, but trafficking and exploitation is an increasing risk to children around the world. When human trafficking occurs, children are often trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation or for labor such as domestic servitude, agricultural work, factory work, mining or are forced to fight in conflicts”.
- Human trafficking is a crime that exploits children.
- Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking.
- 98% of sexually abused survivors are women and children.
- 168 million children are victims of forced labor.
Join Save the Children’s campaign to end girl child trafficking #ShesNotForSale
International Organization for Migration
“IOM works with governments, the private sector, civil society organizations, and other UN agencies to protect victims of trafficking and associated forms of exploitation and abuse; to prevent such abuses from occurring; and to support the development and implementation of policies aimed at the prevention and prosecution of these crimes and the protection of victims”. #EndHumanTrafficking
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
“On the 2017 World Day against Trafficking in Persons, UNODC calls on all to ‘act to protect and assist trafficked persons’. This topic highlights one of the most pressing issues of our time — the large mixed migration movements of refugees and migrants. The theme puts the spotlight on the significant impact of conflict and natural disasters, as well as the resultant, multiple risks of human trafficking that many people face. It addresses the key issue concerning trafficking responses: that most people are never identified as trafficking victims and therefore cannot access most of the assistance or protection provided”.
You can help! On July 30th, support a 24-hour crowd-funding campaign: United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking
How (well) do immigrant children adjust to new shores? Researcher Monica Valencia, Ryerson University, asked a group of children to answer the question through drawings.
She found that there were 4 themes in the children’s drawings:
- Sadness (leaving behind family, friends, neighbourhood)
- Anxiety (unfamiliar, sometimes hostile environment)
- Frustration (so much new to learn! Language, customs)
- Gratitude for friendship (peer support critical to happy integration).
See more immigration related stories by Keung here.
From The New Yorker:
“The photographs in the series “Hundred Times the Difference,” by the photographer Moa Karlberg, capture, in closeup, the faces of women in the final stages of giving birth. Across the images, there is a range of expressions: grit and sensuality, trepidation and expectation, pain and elation. But in their intimate perspective the photographs emphasize the women’s shared experience—the inward focus and physical determination in their final, transformative moments of becoming mothers”.
The North American Refugee Health conference will be held in Toronto, Canada from June 4-6, 2015. From the website:
“The three day event will focus on the best practices in refugee health. Lectures focus on contemporary issues in refugee health, mental health, OB/GYN, pediatrics, and primary care”.
immigrantchildren.ca is happy to see that children’s health issues is a major theme and will be following the conference twitter hashtag #NARHC2015.
Morton Beiser CM, MD, FRCP, Scientist, Keenan Research Centre at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital and Priya Watson, MD, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health present a webinar December 5, 2014, “I May look as if I’m feeling good, but sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not: The Mental health of immigrant and refugee kids in Canada”.
From the announcement:
“The speed with which immigrant kids as a whole learn new languages, their often spectacular school achievements and the apparent ease with which they take on the dress and behaviours of other Canadian kids can give the impression that all is well. That assumption would be a mistake. Although many immigrant kids and youth are probably integrating well, others are not. Some are experiencing difficulty in learning English and/or French, some are falling behind in school and dropping out before they should, some are experiencing problems with their families, some are having trouble deciding whether they are “ethnic”, Canadian or neither, many are facing discrimination, and some are being attracted to gang culture. Resettlement policies and programs for immigrant kids need to take into account the specific problems that these children and youth face that are above and beyond the developmental challenges common to all children. They also need to understand the resilience of immigrant youngsters and where this resilience comes from.
“Even if we had the best policies and programs in place (and we do not), some children and youth in immigrant families would develop mental health problems requiring specialized care. The fact that they are young people who have experienced major life disruptions, that they and their families may have language problems and that their cultural backgrounds likely differ from the health care professionals to whom their care is entrusted create particular issues that have to be resolved.
“In this Fireside Chat (webinar), Dr. Morton Beiser will summarize research and accumulated knowledge about the mental health of immigrant and refugee children and discuss how this information can provide a back-drop for policy and program planning. Dr. Priya Watson will discuss clinical guidelines for assessing and treating children from immigrant and refugee backgrounds”.
For more details, and information on how to register, click here.
“the workshop will present a comprehensive review of resilience theory as well as theoretical and methodological approaches (both quantitative and qualitative) to investigate the phenomenon across cultures and contexts. The workshop is designed to equip researchers in academic, government and NGO sectors, as well as graduate students, with the skills and tools to study resilience as a process across the lifespan”.
The workshop is being held April 28 to May 2, 2014 at the Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and will be followed by two concurrent workshops on May 5th and 6th.
Using visual methods in challenging contexts with Dr. Linda Liebenber. A brief description: “Image-based elicitation methods are gaining prominence in social science research. This workshop will review the grounded theory behind elicitation methods, current approaches to using image-based elicitation, the value of these approaches in answering particular research questions, and the integration of these approaches into research designs. Participants will discuss ethical considerations of elicitation research, and the limits and cautions to consider when using these approaches. The workshop will also provide hands-on experience with the steps to organize and analyze image-based data, which include coding visual tools and developing coding categories. No prior knowledge of or experience with visual methods or grounded theory is required”.
Counselling children, youth and families with complex needs: An Ecological approach to nurturing resilience across cultures and contexts with Dr. Michael Ungar. A brief description: “When treating children, youth and families who have experienced poverty, violence, marginalization, or psychological trauma, the focus is often too narrowly placed on individual complex needs and problems. Such focus on delinquency or conflict between children and caregivers misses the broader sources of healing and resilience in people’s lives. This workshop will present a strengths-focused model of intervention that draws on the potential capacity of people’s social ecologies (e.g. friends, cousins, parents, teachers, community and cultural mentors, government service providers, NGOs, etc.) as sources of resilience in contexts of significant adversity. Participants will learn how to identify and facilitate people’s access to seven factors that enhance resilience: 1) relationships; 2) a powerful identity; 3) a sense of personal control, agency and power; 4) social justice; 5) material resources like food, clothing, and safety; 6) a sense of belonging, life purpose, and spirituality; and 7) cultural rootedness. Participants will also learn 20 skills to help the people they work with experience each of these seven factors in their lives in ways that are psychologically meaningful and contextually relevant. Finally, the workshop will discuss a five-phase model of clinical practice to make interventions effective”.
Bonus: If you register for both the 5-day workshop and a 2-day workshop, you will receive a 50% discount off your registration for the 2-day event.
Learn more about the workshops here.
See highlights from the 4th On New Shores conference: Resilience of immigrants – Coping with stress in various cultural contexts where Dr. Ungar was a keynote speaker.