World directory of minorities and indigeneous peoples

Minority Groups International (MGI) is an international non-governmental organization that works with over 100 partners in 60 countries to ensure minority voices are heard and rights are won and maintained. MGI has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

MGI has released a country-by-country profile of the history and contemporary situations of the world’s minorities and indigenous peoples, entitled the State of the World’s Minorities. Each country profile includes information about the environment, history, governance, and current state of minority and indigeneous peoples.

A brief excerpt about Canada:

“Canada is often described as ‘a country of immigrants’, perhaps implying that it is by definition both a diverse and tolerant country. However, members of certain ethnic groups and most First Nations people face widespread discrimination and endure poorer-than-average living standards in Canada. … As a general rule, the relative position of minorities is determined by factors such as the darkness of skin colour, popular pressures, political expedience and economic conditions. Language is also a dividing line, especially between the English-speaking majority and French Canadian minority. Many English-speakers in the French-majority province of Quebec consider themselves disempowered”.

Lots of interesting information and data here, and searchable on-line. Visit the Minority Rights Group International website.

Conference call: 2008 (US) National refugee and immigration conference

The National Refugee and Immigration Conference will be held Sept 25-26/08 in Chicago. The aim of the conference is to identify issues, emphasize best practices and highlight innovations by providing those who work with refugees and immigrants an opportunity to learn from and to network with one another. Children and families are a focus of this conference.

From The Center website:

“Refugees and other immigrants in the U.S. must do their best to manage transitions and adjustments in new communities. Many families endure poverty, low wage employment, and attend schools under strain. Frequently, it is these families’ first experiences with formal education and urban life. Both adults and children experience tension in family relationships since cultural adjustment puts additional stress on marital and parental structures. Along with these struggles, however, comes evidence of strength and resilience, including healthy families, strong work ethic and aspirations, cohesive communities and faith.

Services for pre-school and K-12 refugee youth and their families may be compromised by differing perceptions and misunderstandings concerning the cultural adjustment process, health, health care, and nutrition, public education enrollment and attendance, academic roles and expectations, and American conventions and laws. Efforts to help refugee youth and families will have a better chance of succeeding if they are based on shared understandings and collaborative partnerships among families, schools, health and mental health providers.

Proposals are being accepted that address these and other related issues”.

Deadline for submissions is May 2/08. See the application here.

Registration questions: Tatiana Davidson. To receive conference updates, email

Childhood and migration conference, June 20-22, Philadelphia

A look at child migration through the lens of child rights. This US conference, sponsored by the Working Group on Childhood Migration features keynote speaker Jacqueline Bhabha, Harvard Law School and Executive Director of the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies.

The conference is raising some of the following questions:

How are children’s rights and the notion of children as citizens affected by transnationalism, or by movement of parents and children in and out of various national legal systems?What are the emotional consequences of family separation across migratory families, especially for children?

What are children’s perspectives on migration, how are they to be elicited, how well can they be elicited and represented, and what can these perspectives tell us about socialization and processes of maturation in transnational families?

How is migration shaping any given culture group’s notions of childhood, and how are cultural notions of childhood shaping migration?

How do media and policy makers represent children in migration and how do discourses about immigrant children and migrant parents affect their lives and experiences?What can we do to generate better quantitative and qualitative data on the effects that migration has on children? What are the numbers of migrant children and how are they best defined as children in their own rights?

For more information, visit the conference website.

Diversity and equity guidelines for childcare providers, Ireland

Released in 2006, the Diversity and Equality Guidelines come out of the National Childcare Coordinating Committee in Ireland (NCCC). From the website:

The guidelines seek to raise awareness of all diversity in the early childhood care and education sector. They provide relevant and practical information on the steps that can be taken to support equal and inclusive treatment“.

In the guidelines, diversity refers to: “The diverse nature of Irish society for example in terms of social class, gender, returned Irish emigrants, family status, minority groups and the majority group”. Equality refers to: “The importance of recognising different individual needs and of ensuring equity in terms of access, participation and benefits for all children and their families. It is therefore not about treating people the ‘same’”.

A useful document that provides a good introduction and context for addressing diversity in all its forms and that references current related policy and legislation in Ireland. A model to consider? What do people think?

Call for workshop proposals: International Metropolis conference, Bonn, Germany

The 13th International Metropolis conference will be held October 27-31 in Bonn, Germany.

Workshop proposals are invited from researchers, policy-makers, NGOs and other interested delegates. Workshops must include representation from the research, policy, NGO sectors, as well as participants from more than one country.

Deadline is March 10/08. For more information, see the International Metropolis website.

NAME Conference: Beyond celebrating diversity

US-based National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) will hold its 18th annual conference Nov 12-16/08 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference theme is Beyond Celebrating Diversity: reActivating the Equity and Social Justice Roots of Multicultural Education.

Conference strands:

  • Critical discourses in multicultural education, social justice and equity
  • The roots of multicultural education
  • Empowering students of color, English language learners, and low-income students
  • Community-based initiatives for educational equity and social justice
  • Multicultural education in a digital age.

See the NAME site for details, including the call for proposals, rubric proposal and information on last year’s conference.

Proposals due March 31, 2008.

Call for proposals: On new shores 2008 conference, Guelph ON

Dr. Susan Chuang, University of Guelph, has posted a call for proposals for the 2008 On New Shores: International Forum on Issues of Immigrant and Refugee Children, Youth and Families conference on her web-page at U of Guelph.

Also see select presentations from the 2007 On New Shores conference.

Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2008. For more info, contact Dr. Susan Chuang at 519-824-4120 ext. 58389 or

Your right to education: A handbook for refugees and displaced communities

US-based Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, with funding from the Pearson Foundation, has released a publication aimed at children and their teachers on every child’s right to education.

Your Right to Education is a second in a series developed to improve access to quality education for displaced communities. The first book, Right to Education during Displacement: A resource for organizations working with refugees and internally displaced persons, was developed for international and local organizations, the United Nations and governments working with displaced communities.

The book is illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winner. The book has been translated into several languages. For information on the handbook, including where and how to download it, see the Child Rights Information Network website/webpage.

State of the world’s children, 2008

The State of the World’s Children, 2008 has been released by UNICEF.

The report examines child survival and primary health care for mothers, newborns and children today. Refugee children are highlighted throughout the report. Some of the key findings (from the Executive Summary) include:

The need to focus on the countries and communities where child mortality rates and levels are highest, and on those hat are most at risk of missing out on essential primary health care.

The merits of packaging essential services together to improve the coverage and efficacy of interventions.

The vital importance of community partnerships in actively engaging community members as health workers and mobilizing the community in support of improved health practices.

The imperative of providing a continuum of care across the life cycle, linking households and communities with outreach and extension services and facility-based care.

The benefits of a strategic, results-oriented approach to health-system development with maternal, newborn and child care as a central part.

The crucial role of political commitment, national and international leadership and sustained financing in strengthening health systems.

The necessity for greater harmonization of global health programmes and partnerships.

For more information, including statistical tables, charts, graphs, photographs, regional reports, how to order hard copies, and special panel reports on child mortality, newborn survival, child health in complex medical emergencies, and birth registration (to name only a few) see the UNICEF webpage.

Scholars for the study of immigrant families

An interesting initiative that brings together researchers with an interest in studying immigrant families. Sound familiar?

The initiative is a result of a discussion held at the 2006 Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) conference. The purpose of the Scholars the Study of Immigrant Families includes:

Building a network of scholars studying issues pertaining to immigration and immigrant families and promoting collaboration between junior and senior researchers.

Promoting the use of innovative and culturally/contextually-embedded research methods.

Preserving the richness and realities of immigrant families’ lived experiences and providing representation of those voices within the institution of academia.


Researchers interested in studying immigrant families are invited to join the Scholars group and post their research interests and etc. on the website. Looks like a good source for networking! and not just for Americans.

A pre-session is being planned for SRA 2008 – coming up March 6-9th in Chicago and will include: 1) a discussion of methods and best practices in the study of immigrant families and 2) a discussion of policy initiatives the Scholars group would like to undertake.

More more info contact María Hernández, Jackie Nguyen or Carrie Saetermoe.

Migrant children project, Ireland

The Migrant Children project in Ireland (funded by the EU Commission through a Marie Curie Excellence Grant) is focusing its research studies on the perspectives of immigrant children and youth. From their website:

Our aim is to understand the social worlds of migrant children and youth in different migrant communities from their own perspectives by using child-centred research methods”.

Some of the research methods being used in the study include: stories, photographs and drawings by children about their experiences.

The Migrant Children project “seeks to map the social worlds of migrant children and youth at the local level in different contexts. The research will produce in-depth analysis of the nature and extent of integration, drawing on current ideas of transnationalism, citizenship and geographies of childhood, and will propose recommendations”. There are four strands of the project:

The Migrant Children Project is hosting an international conference “Children and Migration: identities, mobilities and belonging(s)” to be held April 9-11, 2008 in Cork, Ireland. From the conference website:

“While a wealth of research exists in the broad area of migration and childhood from a variety of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds, there are few opportunities to bring this together in an integrated forum. This conference aims to provide such a forum by focusing on the intersection of these research and policy areas, focusing on children’s own experiences and perspectives of migration, diaspora and transnationalism”.

“One of the aims of the event is to facilitate a dialogue between academic, practitioner and policy-maker perspectives. It is hoped the conference will also be an opportunity to bring together related but distinct areas of research/policy, for example national dynamics of integration with transnational processes, and, children’s experiences of migration with the experiences of children and youth in ethnic minorities”.

Keynote speakers include Katy Gardner and Kanwal Mand, University of Sussex, UK on the topic Migration and the life-cycle: what the study of transnational children in London can tell us and Jill Rutter, Institute for Public Policy Research, UK on Changing patterns of child international migration in Europe: challenges for research, public policy and practice.

Researchers from over 20 countries will participate and over 80 papers will be presented. Visit the conference website for more information.