Multi-lingual resource sheets on abuse in pregnancy

The Perinatal Partnership Program of Eastern and Southeastern Ontario (with funding from the Ontario government and support from the Best Start Resource Centre) have released a series of information sheets for women on abuse in pregnancy. Sheets have been translated and culturally adapted and are available in: Arabic, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Cree – N Dialect, English, French, Punjabi, Severn Ojibwe, Somali, and Spanish.

Multilingual parent resource sheets from, (see blog entry here March 19/08), has published a series of parent resource sheets in ten languages, including: Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Hindi, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil and Vietnamese.

Topics include: Building active habits, Family routines, Parents at play, Promoting positive behaviour, and Supporting children’s play. is a collaboration of the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs and settlement agencies across Canada.

Developing positive identities: Young children and diversity

The Bernard van Leer Foundation has released a resource on the theory and evidence of how identity can be impacted by adversity, discrimination and diversity in early childhood, entitled Developing Positive Identities: Young Children and Diversity.

This release is the latest in the Bernard van Leer Foundation’s Early Childhood in Focus series. Earlier editions were Attachment Relationships: Quality of Care for Young Children and Early Childhood and Primary Education: Transitions in the Lives of Young Children updated, hosted by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre has updated its digital library and added the 2007 report by Save the Children UK, Legacy of Disasters: The Impact of Climate Change on Children. From the report:

Overall, natural disasters are likely to lead to unprecedented numbers of ‘environmental refugees’ or ‘environmentally displaced people’. Regions that rely most heavily on agriculture will be most affected; environmental migration is already most acute in sub-Saharan Africa, but millions of people in Asia and India are also on the move.

“The UN estimates that by 2010 there will be 50 million such people worldwide. Given the demographics of the countries most likely to be affected and the traditional composition of displaced populations, most environmentally displaced people will be women and children”.

Visit or Save the Children UK to read the report.

Immigrant women and post-partum depression

A newly published book on immigrant women’s health issues includes a chapter by Paola Ardiles, CIndy-Lee Dennis and Lori E. Ross on post-partum depression in immigrant women.  

The book, Working with Immigrant Women: Issues and Strategies for Mental Health Professionals is edited by Sepali Gruge and Enid Collins and is published by CAMH. See the CAMH page for information.

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.

The Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs (FRP), with funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, have developed a resource kit for welcoming newcomer families participation in community-based programs. From an announcement (Mar 19/08) on the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Promotion listserv:

“Over the past year, under the Welcome Here project, family resource programs and settlement agencies in communities across Canada have collaborated together to offer new and improved programs to newcomer families. The Welcome Here Resource Kit will share some of the lessons learned in these communities. The kit will also contain some useful tools for community programs including a multi-lingual welcome poster, multi-lingual parent resource sheets, ideas for preventing racism, a colourful brochure designed to invite newcomers to visit their local family resource centre, and links to other resources”.

Resource kits will be available on as of April 1/08. For more information,

Through the eyes of a child: Refugee children speak about violence

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.

CBC Toronto series: Toronto’s mosaic, a reality check

CBC Toronto’s Metro Morning Ontario Today show is airing a week-long series on immigration, diversity and multiculturalism starting Mon March 3/08. CBC TV will air similar segments on the evening news. Radio-Canada will carry the series in French.

Toronto’s Mosaic: A Reality Check will explore the following issues:

  • Discrimination that new Torontonians experience.
  • Cultural stereotypes and neighbourhood enclaves.
  • Traditions – home traditions vs. Canadian traditions.
  • Racism.
  • What does it mean to become a Canadian?

The CBC website has links to several useful resources, including background, statistics, and links to sources with further information.

CBC news also maintains another good site with information (beyond Toronto) entitled “Immigration in Canada: From 1947 to 2017“.

On Thursday, March 6, the CBC will host a Town Hall and invites Torontonians to attend and participate in the discussion. The event will be held at the Glenn Gould Studio, CBC Broadcastng Centre, 250 Front St. West. The event begins at 7:30, doors open at 6:45.

Panelists include:

Let’s all call in to the vox-box and raise the issues of immigrant children. Here’s how to reach the CBC with your comments: 1.866.648.6714.

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.