The Child Rights Information Network regular e-bulletin has announced the availability of a new resource entitled Through the eyes of a child – refugee children speak about violence.
From CRIN: “Life for any refugee can be difficult; life for a child refugee is doubly difficult. As one young refugee told the UN refugee agency: ‘We are always living in fear’.”
The United Nations High Commission on Refugees organized a series of workshops over 3 years on the issues facing refugee children in 8 countries in Southern African. The workshops involved refugee children, honouring the United Convention on the Rights of the Child article 12 on the child’s right to participate.
UNHCR used a participatory assessment approach, involving children through art, asking children to express themselves through drawings.
“UNHCR sought to give refugee children a voice in defining and resolving their problems, and to ensure that their voice was heard by adults. Thus an important outcome of the participatory assessments was that the attention of camp and related personnel, as well as parents and caretakers, was drawn to the needs and rights of children and their obligation to fulfil them,” the report said.” The study concluded that the greatest impact of the participatory assessments was to give a voice to the children, which increased their self-confidence and the respect they received from adults. Field staff report concrete improvements in the lives of children and the approach is now being used by UNHCR in other areas of the world”.
For more information, contact: United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Case Postale 2500, CH-1211 Geneva 2 Depot, Switzerland, Tel: +41.22.739.8111.
The Canadian Council on Refugees spring consultation will focus on children and will be held May 22 – 24, 2008 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
For more information on this consultation (and other events) visit the CCR webpage on consultations and meetings here.
The Refugee Forum is a new program of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa. It is funded by the Maytree Foundation. The Forum will study and comment on Canada’s asylum system and address research, analysis and communication.
From the web-page: “The ultimate objective of the Forum is to develop and promote positive improvements to Canada’s asylum system as well as to raise public awareness of refugee issues”.
See the Refugee Forum web-page for more information.
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.
The Centre for Refugee Studies at York University in Toronto is holding a summer course on refugee issues from June 7-14, 2008.
From the website, this description:
“The course is designed for academic and field-based practitioners working in the area of forced migration. Participants typically include government officials, non-governmental personnel, university faculty, and graduate students”.
Topics proposed for this year’s summer course include: the root causes of forced migration, refugee status and definition, human rights, and resettlement. I did not see any specific reference on children, parents or families, but I hope that the course will address issues related to refugee children, parents, and families or at least that students of the course raise them.
More from the course website:
“The summer course provides an interdisciplinary, interactive and experiential approach to the study of forced migration. Through attending lectures and related small group sessions, course participants develop a deepened understanding of the political, economic, social and cultural contexts of forced migration, and the major state and non-state institutions involved in refugee protection and advocacy”.
Students in the course are involved in simulated refugee hearings held at the Immigration and Refugee Board in Toronto. Students take on different roles and conduct mock hearings.
For more information, including costs, location, and applications, see the website.