Transnational families

The Nanny Economy is the title of a National Post item in the Saturday edition (February 23/08). From the story:

“More than 6,000 Filipinas arrive in Canada under the federal government’s live-in caregiver program. They make up more than one in five female immigrants to Canada and more than nine out of 10 of the live-in caregiver program’s participants”.

The story outlines the issues in the live-in caregiver program, which brings many women to Canada to care for Canadian children, while leaving their own children behind.

For more on transnational families, see Bernhard, J., Landolt, P. & Goldring, L. (2005). Transnational, multi-local motherhood: Experiences of separation and reunification among Latin American families in Canada. Joint Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration Studies (CERIS), Working Paper No. 40, or for a summary see Policy Matters No. 24, January 2006 at the CERIS website.

Also see INTERCEDE for the Rights of Domestic Workers, Caregivers and Newcomers. INTERCEDE is a non-profit community-based organization that works to “support the integration, promote the rights and provide service needs of domestic workers, caregivers, temporary or migrant workers, their families”.

The refugee forum: New program at Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre

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.

Immigrant children in Canadian history

As a grad student on placement at the Toronto-based Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration Studies (CERIS) in 2005, I compiled a bibliography of holdings in the CERIS library about immigrant and refugee children and youth.

I’d like to start compiling an annotated bibliography of books and other resources about the history of immigration and immigration policy in Canada that either focus on or include sections on/about children.

Kelly, N. & Trebilcock, M. (1998). The making of the mosaic: A history of Canadian immigration policy is one.

Kenneth Bagnell’s The Little immigrants: the orphans who came to Canada (1980 & 2001) is a classic. It tells the story of the home children.

Another account of the home children is Marj Kohli‘s 2003 The Golden bridge: Young immigrants to Canada (1833-1939).

I am currently reading Valerie Knowles’ updated 1992 Strangers at our gates: Canadian immigration and immigration policy, 1540-2006, which has a short section on the home children and guest children.

Please share any books with/out annotations – or other resources – that address or include children in the history of immigration and immigration policy in Canada. I’ll maintain a page for this for us in our “pages” section, see right-hand side of the blog.

CPRN’s leadership summit – will immigrant children’s issues be raised?

On Wed. Feb 13th, the Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) will bring together “more than 100 community, business, and youth leaders” to launch their public policy research agenda as part of the CPRN Leadership Summit. (Source: CPRN E-Network bulletin, Feb 7/08).

Five challenges, identified through a consultation process lead by CPRN across Canada, will be addressed at the Summit, including: Citizenship, Diversity, Productivity, Health and our aging population and the Environment.

From the Feb 7th CPRN e-Network bulletin:

“… we want advice about what the public policy needs are to shape Canada’s response to these challenges so that we can shape our research to meet these needs” says Manson Singer. CPRN is committed to working with Canadians to find innovative policy approaches that will strengthen Canada and contribute to making it the fair, prosperous and inclusive society we seek.

“Canada has had great success as a nation and is a leader in the developed world. But, we have much to do to ensure that all our citizens share our great potential and future success. CPRN believes that citizens can make an important contribution to shaping Canada’s future through Connecting with Canadians research and dialogue”.

Of the more than 100 participants, surely issues of importance/relevance to immigrant children and families will be raised. Watch the CPRN for updates/reports coming out of the summit, promised in next week’s E-Network bulletin.

York University summer course on refugee issues

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.

L1

mylanguage.ca has been launched by Dr. Roma Chumak-Horbatsch, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Ryerson University.

The site provides research-based information about the importance of maintaining and protecting the many minority languages of young children spoken in homes across Canada.

The goal of mylanguage.ca is to help parents, teachers, early childhood educators and other children’s services practitioners understand the personal, social, linguistic and academic reasons for maintaining and protecting home languages (L1).

Visit mylanguage.ca.

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.