The United Nations UNHCR has created an interactive online game for children to develop an understanding of the experiences of child refugees.
From the CBC website: “We’ve been hearing a lot about Dreamers in the U.S. – undocumented young people who fear they may be deported to countries they left as children. Canada has its own ‘dreamers’, but we hear far less about them”. That’s about to change with a series of radio spots from the CBC.
Also see the CBC print story for more information.
Part 2 examines the Canadian policy response to ‘dreamer’ refugees.
The documentary includes testimonies from lawyers, social workers, academics and who have firsthand knowledge and insight into the hardship of family separation and the challenges of reunification.
The documentary is complete, but producers have turned to crowd-funding to get this documentary out.
immigrantchildren.ca reviewed the documentary Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth two years ago. It is a provocative and moving piece depicting the triumphs and challenges faced by undocumented youth in the US. Now, Papers, the book has been released. From the announcement:
“Papers the Book is here!! Order your copy today!
“This beautiful book includes 30 stories by undocumented youth and is illustrated with color drawings by undocumented artist Julio Salgado.
“These moving and inspiring stories were written by young people who range in age from 10 to 32. They were born in countries throughout the world and raised in the United States. The writers sent these stories to Graham Street Productions during the production of the documentary film Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth.
“For bulk and educational orders of this book, please contact us at email@example.com or 503-282-8683.
“For press inquiries or for a review copy, please contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-282-8683″.
There is no one undocumented experience. Some of our parents crossed the border without authorization, some of us came here legally and overstayed visas, some of us were escaping persecution while some came seeking more prosperity. We are from all over the world. But somewhere in all our stories, there is a common thread: there is an act of love.
– Prerna Lal, Undocumented and Unafraid
Undocumented youth have been the leaders of a cultural transformation that has swept the country, making huge gains for the immigrant rights movement. Unapologetic and unafraid, they are writing their own history and establishing new rules in the game.
– Favianna Rodriguez, artist and co-editor of Reproduce & Revolt
In the dawn of the 21st century, undocumented youth are a living testament to what is enduring about the American spirit.
– Jose Antonio Vargas, award-winning journalist and founder of Define American
The Children’s Society is a UK-based charity that is “committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including safeguarding children in care and young runaways”. The Children’s Society campaigns and research seek to influence policy on and give voice to marginalized children, including young refugees. In February, they released a report on the state of young refugees and migrants in the UK. From the announcement:
In “I don’t feel human”, we examine available data on the extent and impact of destitution, and speak to young migrants and the people who work to support them. The report sets out the devastating impact being destitute has on children, young people and families.
“This is an issue for young people who come to seek protection in the UK alone but have been refused asylum and so are left in limbo.
“Having fled danger in their country of birth, these young people are exposed to danger and harm in this country because they are excluded from support and accommodation. They remain hidden from view and have to survive with minimal resources.
“This is also an issue for children in migrant families who may not have an asylum claim but who become destitute for various reasons including domestic violence and family breakdown. Yet due to immigration restrictions they are unable to access support and their parents are not allowed to work in order to pull them out of poverty”.
February 21, 2012 & March 15, 2012. Ensuring the wellbeing of unaccompanied refugee children and young people is at the heart of this course, which aims to give delegates the confidence and information they need to challenge assessments, and the tools to ensure that the correct processes are in place in your organisation.
February 28, 2012. This course will provide an overview of the asylum and support systems for children and examine the interaction between the two. Focusing on procedures that the young people are required to participate in, delegates are assisted in exploring how best to respond to the difficulties they may be facing.
March 1, 2012. This course will examine the emotional impact of the experiences that refugee children and young people face as they flee from their home countries and settle in the UK. It will provide participants with the tools to assess the organisation in which they work, to identify factors which are detrimental to emotional wellbeing and to devise strategies for providing appropriate care and support.
March 1, 2012. This course will provide an opportunity to examine the specific needs of refugee pupils, including those new to schooling in the UK, and investigate positive strategies to support them in achieving their potential. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on and evaluate their own practice, as well as that of the school in which they work.
All courses cost £109 for registered charities and £175 for all other attendees. To book, email email@example.com
A call for papers from La Revue d’histoire de l’enfance “irrégulière” est spécialisée dans le champ de l’enfance et de la jeunesse marginales ou marginalisées/Journal of the History of “irregular” Childhood is a scholarly, peer reviewed journal focused on the history of marginalized childhood and youth.
(Dis)placed childhoods. Forced migrations and youth welfare policies of the 19th and 20th centuries. Edited by David Niget and Mathias Gardet.
From the call (posted on H-NET List for History of Childhood and Youth) “Most of the young people placed in institutions under child welfare policies were in fact displaced or imigrated. Authorities and philanthropic societies have, over the past two centuries, proceeded to displace tens of thousands of children: they were separated from families who were deemed to be corrupting, kept away from their neighbourhoods and from socialising with criminals, moved away from towns and cities to fulfill a recurring dream of reversing rural exodus,which was at first only a fantasy and which then became more and more real.
“But some children were displaced in a more systematic and planned way, not only in order to distance them from their homes, but also just to establish them elsewhere. Thus, some policies implemented a deliberate and thorough going programme of mass displacement of juvenile populations, often beyond national borders, in accordance with colonial objectives, specific political situations. These programmes can be correlated to wars and regime changes, educational and ideological utopias or specific institutional strategies. Therefore, the justification for the removal of the children from their home environment was either to punish them or to establish a utopia.
“Biopolitical issues have emerged: Was it about removing bad influences from the State or about regenerating the nation by transplanting its offspring in a healthy and promising substratum? In the name of the imperialism or colonisation, children from working-class English families were sent to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and therefore not merely the result of a political situation, or of chance selection of the most vulnerable victims. From the 19th to the 20th century, migration became a tool for the political management of populations, of which childhood is emblematic.
“This colourful but little known history raises questions for any historian:
“What is the relationship between biopolitics and childhood? How does the increasing concern to pursue a population policy, with the future planning and management of human resources of contemporary societies in mind, lead to the formulation of childhood policies within the ambit of demographics, and more specifically the control of migration flows? How do humanitarian organisations become involved with these policies?
“What is the status of childhood within the creation of State policies? From the citizen to the ‘new man’, how does childhood and youth become interpreted into political meaning and absorbed into the heart of the nation? What about the notion of the Empire and child exploitation within this colonial enterprise?
“How are gender, class and ethnicity analysed within these questions relating to migrpopulating? In the colonial enterprise, is the displacementof young orphans from cities to Africa an attempt to ‘whiten’ the colonies, or to perpetuate, with regard to Canada, Australia or New Zealand, ethnically homogenous colonies? What about acculturation goals reflected by the displacement of indigenous children?
“What organisations did support these displacements? Displacement policies, exclusive from the State, also resulted from the intervention of private, philanthropic and religious or political parties. What kindof devices did these displacement policies put in place? What kind of institutions? Were they open, closed, educational or punitive? Did they involve institutional violence and did they include compensation policies in recent years?
“What expertise was involved in this undertaking? Were demographic and economic reasons used? What was the role of social work in the identification of those to be displaced? Were medicine and psychoanalytic methods used to select young people?”.
Deadline for submissions is October 31, 2011. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Ten new documents on children on the move and migration have been added to the digital library of the Childtrafficking.com website. Here are just two, as described in a posting on the Childtrafficking listserv:
“Global Movement for Children. (2010). Leaving Home: Voices of Children on the Move. 15 p. The report denounces the invisibility of children within international debates and immigration policies on the issue as well as the lack of adequate policies to address their specific needs. It voices their experiences on having left their homes and it analyses the wide array of causes and consequences that migration has for children beyond those who have been victims of criminal activities.”
“Global Movement for Children. (2010). Protecting and Supporting Children on the Move. 37 p. The International Conference on Protecting and Supporting Children on the Move was held in Barcelona on 5-7 October 2010. It aimed at analysing and debating the current status of the issue of children on the move and presenting some key recommendations on the way forward to initiating the revision of policy and programmatic responses to the protection and support of these children. The Conference Report is expected to be a road map for topics of debate initiated at the Barcelona meetingwith a view to building national and international work agendas”.
Childtrafficking.com welcomes comments and suggestions and are interested to receive documents and research from the field. Contact email@example.com.
Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth tells the story of the approximately 2 million children in the United States who are living “without legal status”, i.e., without “papers”.
These children arrive on American shores not by choice, but because their parents take them there for what they hope will be a better future. Many arrive as babies and small children and do not realize they are living precariously until they turn 18 and attempt to join the labour force, attend college or university or get a driver’s license – all of which require a social security card, an ID reserved for US citizens. These children, many who know no other country and often, language, are educated in US schools, hold US values and face a perilous future without “papers”.
My thanks to Graham Street Productions, for sending me a copy of the DVD to review.
Papers follows five undocumented youth and tells their stories with the backdrop of the DREAM Act movement. The DREAM Act, a bipartisan initiative developed by Sen. Orin Hatch [R-UT] and Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL], is a progressive policy response to the issue – with one caveat for the use of the word ‘alien’ in the acronym DREAM – ‘Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act’. The DREAM Act would provide “qualifying undocumented youth” eligibility to enter into a conditional path to full citizenship (for example, requiring youth to complete a college degree or give two years of military service prior to applying for citizenship).
Graham Street Productions, who worked with El Grupo Juvenil (the “Papers” youth crew) produced this inspiring documentary. It opens with a montage of demonstrations, both for and against immigration. There are some beautiful moments of peaceful marching and some harsh displays of hatred. Immigration – legal and otherwise – is a hotly debated issue in the US as it is here in Canada.
The documentary includes commentary from civil rights leaders, politicians, academics and researchers. A unique parallel story links the LGBTQ movement with the immigration rights movement. One of the youth, Jorge, is both gay and undocumented. From the press release:
They realize that there is extraordinary power in their stories and in telling the truth. The boldness of it inspires us. By coming out as undocumented, they risk arrest, detention, and deportation. By coming out as queer, they risk being ostracized from their families, their churches, their cultures of origin and their communities. But in talking with these courageous young people, it is obvious that they are not going to stop being public about who they are. In some ways the most vulnerable, they are also the most brave. They, more than anyone, know the power of “coming out” and recognize that going public is the way to changes peoples’ hearts and minds.
Details have been finalized for the 4th annual On New Shores conference. The theme this year is Resilience of immigrants: Coping with stress in various cultural contexts.
Day One: Thursday, September 30
8:00 -9:00 Registration.
9:00-9:15 Welcome and introductions: Serge Desmarais, Associate Vice President and Susan Chuang, Organizer.
9:15-9:30 Dedication: Tom Luster. Strangers in a Strange Land: The ‘Lost Boys of Sudan’, Michigan State University.
9:45-10:35 Michael Ungar, The Social Ecology of Resilience: Culture, Context, Resources, and Meaning, Dalhousie University.
Morning concurrent sessions:
Compassion fatigue: Warning signs and practical tools for prevention and resilience, with Jane Bradley, certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist.
Strategy for building resilience in immigrant youth Youth: A Two-tiered mentorship program, with Petra Okeke and Nashila Dharsh, The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth.
Parental exposure to life stress: Mechanisms of resilience in immigrant children, with Kelly Fife and Katholiki Georgiades, McMaster University.
Protection from the storm: Resilience and life satisfaction in US immigrant populations, with Vanessa Alleyne and Claire Wooloff, Montclair State University.
Early afternoon concurrent sessions:
Channels of mother-infant communication across task, development, and culture, with Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, New York University.
Mothers’ reports of fathers’ involvement with children in Mexican immigrant families in the US, with Ziarat Hossain, University of New Mexico.
Stress and resilience among Latino immigrant families, with Jo Ann Farver, University of Southern California.
The Promotion of resilience in the face of challenge among Chinese Canadian youth, with Catherine Costigan, University of Victoria.
Ethnic composition of peer groups: Effects on Chinese Canadian and Euro-Canadian children’s adjustment, with Xinyin Chen, University of Pennsylvania.
More than a haircut: Building on strengths and mutual support at the barbershop, with Sarah Marsh, Lorraine Kirlew and Chevy King, Centre for Community Based Research, Macauley Child Development Centre, and York University.
Immigrants raising citizens: Undocumented parents of the second generation, with Hiro Yoshikawa, Harvard University.
Later afternoon concurrent sessions:
Settlement in the early years: The Distinctive needs of young newcomer children, with Judith Colbert.
Paradoxical patterns in early academic trajectories of newcomer children in Miami, with Jessica deFeyter, Adam Winsler and Yoon Kim, George Mason University.
A Qualitative Investigation of Chinese Youth ‘Growing up in NYC’, with Uwe Gielen, Jonathan Palumbo, and Ting Lei, St. Francis College and Borough of Manhattan College.
Internal migration in Mongolia: The Meaning of being a proper Chinese citizen, with William Jankowiak, University of Nevada.
Dragon seed: A Visual tour of NYC Chinatown, with Uwe Gielen, St. Francis College.
Day Two: Friday, October 1
9:00-11:40 Michael Ungar Workshop: Clinical interventions to nurture resilience among culturally diverse youth and their families.
Sudanese Families ~ In Honour of Dr. Tom Luster, Michigan State University.
The Influence of racialized experiences on the identities of Sudanese refugee youth, by Deborah Johnson, Andrew Saltarelli and Desiree Qin.
Successful adjustment among Sudanese unaccompanied minors: Perspectives of youth and their foster parents, by Tom Luster, Desiree Qin, Laura Bates et al.
Fostering Sudanese refugee youth: Parent perspectives, by Laura Bates, Deborah Johnson, Meenal Rana et al.
Immigrant parents and adolescents negotiating time and space
Lynda Ashbourne, University of Guelph.
Newcomer youth from five provinces: Exploration of challenges and coping strategies, by Susan Chuang, Sarah Rasmi, Maria Garces et al., University of Guelph.
Understanding Violence and Healing: Voices of Racialized Young People in Vancouver and Toronto, by Neringa Kubiliene, Miu-Chung Yan, Sarah Maiter et al., University of British Columbia and York University.
A Model of alcohol use among Latino adolescents: Exploring the influence of generational status, by Miriam Martinez, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The Settlement sector: The Profession, by Jacqueline McAdam and Caroline Lai, Global Trek.
Inquiry in English with different proficiency: A Youth leadership program at Toronto’s Chinatown, by Yamin Qian, University of Toronto.
Acculturation and family relationships: Uncovering the narratives of Chinese-Canadian immigrant youth, by Christine Tardif-Williams,
Afternoon Concurrent sessions:
Promoting resilience in war-affected youth, with Chandi Fernando, University of Toronto.
Stress and resilience among Liberian and Burundian refugee adolescents and their families, with Madeleine Currie, Hiro Yoshikawa, and Steven Weine, Harvard University.
Impact of war on teaching and relations among teachers of Buduburam refugee camps in Ghana, with Salome Priase Otami, Christiane Noi-Akwei1 and Benjamin Aflakpui, Central University College, Cape Town, South Africa.
Conceptualizations of resilience in refugee mental health, with Laura Simich and Wade Pickre, Ryerson University and Central for Addiction and Mental Health.
Conceptual and methodological issues for studying immigrant child mental health and school achievement, with Katholiki Georgiades, Michael Boyle, and Kelly Fife, McMaster University.
Diversity in action: Adapting mental health services in Canada, with Anne Dupré, Psychology Foundation of Canada.
El Vaivén: Return migration and education in Puerto Rico and Mexico, with Sandra Soto-Santiago and Luis Moll, University of Arizona.
Transnational entrepreneurship: Immigrant family perspective, with Benson Honig, McMaster University.
4:00-4:30 Future directions & Concluding remarks
To register, or if you have questions, contact: Dr. Susan Chuang, firstname.lastname@example.org | 519-824-4120, ext. 58389.