Gender, families and Latino immigration in Oregon, USA

Latino children make up about 15 % of the population under age 18 in the US state of Oregon. Latino births account for 20 % of the total births in Oregon.

A conference sponsored by the University of Oregon, on Gender, Families and Latino Immigration in Oregon will be held this upcoming week, May 22-23/08 in Eugene, Oregon. The conference is free and open to the public.

The conference features panels on a range of topics of interest to the Early Childhood Working Group, including: education, changes in family dynamics, immigrant indigenous women’s organizing. It also will include a community forum on Myths and Facts about Immigration: Gender, Youth, and Family Perspectives, a plenary session on Building Alliances for Immigrant Rights, and a closing keynote panel on Lessons on Gender and Families Issues among Latino Immigrant Populations in California and Oregon.

On new shores: Int’l forum on issues of immigrant and refugee children, youth and families

The 2008 On New Shores: International Forum on Issues of Immigrant and Refugee Children, Youth and Families conference program is available. This is a tentative program, but we are thrilled to see so many sessions devoted to young immigrant children and their parents/families.

The conference will be held Nov 6-7/08 in Guelph, Ontario and is sponsored by Dr. Susan Chuang, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph

Some of the events, sessions and workshops with Canadian content include:

Thurs. Nov 6th, Session 2:

Z Sonia Worotynec, Canadian Coalition for Immigrant Children and Youth, Valerie Rhomberg, Canadian Mothercraft Society and Ken Setterington, Toronto Public Library on The Children’s Picture Book as Immigrant Literature

Poster sessions:

Alka Burman, Early Literacy Consultant, Peel Region: Providing an Anti-Bias Environment.

Fri. Nov 7th Keynote:

Janice MacAuley, Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs, Dr. Susan Chuang, FRAN, University of Guelph, Christopher Friesen, Canadian Immigration Settlement Sector Alliance: The Canadian Way: Welcoming Immigrant and Refugee Families

Fri. Nov 7th Session 4:

Judith Bernhard, Ryerson University: Por necesidad: Challenges of Multi-Local Parenting.

Mehru Ali, Ryerson University: Loss of Self-Effacacy among Immigrant Parents

Roma Chumak-Horbatsch, Ryerson University and and Z Sonia Worotynec, Canadian Coalition for Immigrant Children and Youth: Immigrant Children in Toronto Child Care Centres: A Language Profile.

Visit Dr. Chuang’s webpage at the University of Guelph for more information.

CCRs 10 areas of concern about proposed changes to the IRPA

The Canadian Council for Refugees has developed a useful fact sheet that outlines “Ten reasons to be concerned about proposed amendments to Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in Bill C-50″.

Excerpts from the fact sheet:

1. Arbitrary power. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration can introduce “instructions” without Parliamentary oversight..Having the rules for who gets in made and changed by ministerial fiat … lacks transparency and makes the immigration selection process vulnerable to inappropriate political pressures.

2. Applicants’ legal rights eliminated. The proposed amendment in IRPA s. 11 from ‘the visa shall be issued’ to ‘the visa may be issued’ (means) the applicant will no longer have the same legal basis to demand that the processing be finalized in a timely manner.

3. Overseas humanitarian and compassionate applications. The amendments eliminate the right to have an overseas application for humanitarian and compassionate consideration examined. This includes … family reunification.

4. Intentions are not law. The government has made a number of statements about how they intend or don’t intend to use the new powers… Expressions of current intention are no protection against future uses of the powers.

5. The amendments do not belong in the budget bill. IRPA amendments should (be) dealt with through separate legislation, studied by the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration and debated.

6. Lack of explanatory information. The government has failed to provide adequate information.

7. Failure to produce draft instructions. … draft instructions have not been made public.

8. Lack of consultation. The proposed amendments were introduced without the normal prior consultation with stakeholders.

9. There are other ways of addressing the backlog. … the proposed amendments will not … resolve the existing backlog, since they only affect applications made after 27 February 2008.

10. The immigration program needs to value immigrants. Canada needs to consider immigrants as full participants in society, not simply as disposable units to fill currently available jobs.

April 17-18 York U conference: Rethinking the mosaic: Immigration, settlement and the lived experience

At the end of February, this blog posted notice about and a call for proposals for the York University Graduate School Conference, “Rethinking the Mosaic: Immigration, Settlement and the Lived Experience”. The conference program has now been posted. I am happy to report that children and families are addressed in this conference, including:

The opening plenary includes Mehru Ali, CERIS domain leader in Family, Children and Youth, and Professor at the School of Early Childhood Education, Ryerson University

A day 2 workshop in the Health and Well-Being section includes Fatima Kediye, School of Early Childhood Education, Ryerson University on the topic of “Somali-Canadian mothers of young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder”. 

Also on day 2, a series of workshops on the Experiences of Immigrant/Transnational Families, including:

  • Christina Parker, OISE/UT on the topic of “Canadian children, immigrant parents: Young ‘Canadians’ research their cultural identity”.
  • Lan Zhong, University of Windsor on “The role of the father in Chinese immigrant families”. 
  • Yvette Michele Gnanamuttu, McGill University, on “Inter-ethnic adoption: In whose best interests?”. 
  • Marina Morgenshtern, Wilfrid Laurier University, on “Witnessing the socio-political stories of immigrant couples”. 

The conference takes place this upcoming week – April 17-18/08. See the CERIS website for more information and to download the complete conference program.

War, immigration and trauma: Sick Kids Hospital conference

The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is hosting a two-day conference May 16-17/08 on the theme of War, Immigration and Trauma. Features speakers are:

Dr. Cecile Rousseau, Head, Transcultural Child Psychiatry Clinic, Montreal Children’s Hospital, on “Trauma as a Transformation Process” and Olara A. Otunnu, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, on “Protecting our Children from the Scourge of War”.

Also featured will be 3 expert panels:

• Child Development: Interactions with Armed Conflict and Migration
• Therapeutic Interventions: Talking with Children, Talking with Parents
• Moving to the Next Level: Implications for Policy & Practice.

For more information, see the conference website or contact Cathy Ditizio, Conference Administrator at:

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.

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”.