Everybody’s children, Toronto film event

CERIS (Joint Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration Studies) hosts a screening of the National Film Board documentary, Everybody’s Children (directed by Monika Delmos, produced by Anita Lee) on Friday, May 29/09, 12pm-2pm at the CERIS office in Toronto.

From the flyer: A year in the lives of two African youth seeking asylum in Ontario arrive under age and alone, often traumatized and seeking asylum in a country completely alien to their own. … these unaccompanied refugee minors have surprisingly no government system in place for their care after arriving. This documentary is a cinematic portrait of a year in the life.

Dr. Francis Hare, CERIS Domain Leader, Family, Children and Youth, will moderate a forum on unaccompanied children with Anne Woolger-Bell, Matthew House. 

RSVP to ceris.reception@utoronto.ca or call 416-946-3110.

‘Waiting for my children’ art exhibit

Settlement Arts, a new Toronto-based organization established to raise awareness and increase education on immigration and settlement issues presents their first exhibit “Waiting for My Children”, a collaboration between Curator Lisa Wyndels, Photographer Anna  Hill and Editor, Sally Dundas.

From the description:

There are parents in our community who are forced to wait for many years to be joined by their children, after they first arrived in Canada as immigrants or refugees.

The impact of the separation of children from parents is profound, and increasingly so as the period of waiting becomes prolonged.  A period of separation of many years creates risks of children being exposed to multiple harms, including severe psychological damage. We know of instances of depression, suicide attempt, and even death.  Children who arrive in Canada after years of separation from a parent are often at real risk of not integrating well, either into family or into society.

The show runs from May 13-23 at 1080 Queen St. W. For more info, visit the website.

Mothering and migration: (Trans)nationalism, globalization & displacement

Call for papers for a conference from the Association for Research on Mothering (ARM), as posted on the mnchp-l listserv: Mothering and Migration: (Trans)nationalisms, Globalization, and Displacment. The conference will be held February 18-20, 2010 at the University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico.

Submissions are welcome from scholars, students, activists, government agencies and workers, artists, mothers, and others who work or research in the area. Cross-cultural, historical and comparative work is encouraged. Topics can include (but not limited to):

Representations/images of mothers and migration and (trans)national issues; globalization of motherhood; empowering migrant mothers; reproduction and movement of mother workers; migrant and (trans)national mothers and capitalism; migrant and (trans)national mothers and activism; public policy issues.

For more information, contact the ARM at arm@yorku.ca or 416.736.2100 ext 60366. Or visit the ARM website. Abstract and bio deadline is Sept 1/09.

The neglect of citizen children in US immigration policy

A new study by Dorsey and Whitney, LLP for the Urban Institute raises several issues with regard to the impact of immigration policy on immigrant- and citizen-children of immigrants in the US.

Severing a Lifeline: The Neglect of Citizen Children in America’s Immigration Enforcement Policy begins with the startling statistic that of the 5 million “illegal immigrants” in the United States, 3 million are actually children citizens, born in the USA.

From the executive summary:

“US citizen children are the victims of immigration laws that are out of step with the manner in which we address child welfare issues in other areas of the law. The “best interests” of the child find little or no hearing in the process of detaining and deporting undocumented parents. The hard suffered by the citizen child who loses a parent to deportation, or the citizen child who loses his or her prospective future in the United States in the interests of maintaining family unity, is thus the natural consequence of systemic shortcomings in US immigration law and policy.

“The primary goal of this report is to reveal, and to prompt meaningful and reasoned debate regarding, the deficiencies in this country’s immigration laws and enforcement scheme relative to the interests of our citizen children”.

The study includes a series of comprehensive recommendations for reform.

IDC Child detention study

From the International Detention Coalition (IDC) March 2009 e-Newsletter:

“The IDC is undertaking a research project to investigate the incidence and impact of immigration detention on children at national, regional and global levels”. As part of a larger international campaign, the research project will include a literature review, stakeholder interviews, and a survey of IDC members.

Survey deadline is April 28th. For more information, contact brkessler@gmail.com.

Terre des Hommes International Federation report: Protecting child migrants

Terre des Hommes International Federation has released a study on unaccompanied children, now available at the childtrafficking.com digital library. From the tdh listserv:

“Children who leave home and migrate, either within their own country or to another country, are entitled to far better efforts to protect them from abuse and exploitation, says the Terre des Hommes International Federation…

“In a new report, Kids Abroad, Terres des Hommes reviews a wide range of initiatives to support children who leave home without being accompanied by any other family member, discussing the situation in Western and South Eastern Europe and also in West Africa, Central America, South Asia and South East Asia…

“As a matter of public policy, most governments encourage children to attend school and to remain there, at least until they complete their primary education. However, millions do not do so and set out to seek their fortune while still adolescents or even before reaching puberty. While public policy may not want to approve or encourage their actions, thousands of NGOs around the world are engaged in efforts to protect and assist such children, particularly when they are far from home and vulnerable to abuse because they are cut off from the families or home communities who could help protect them.

“Recommendations include:

  •  More investment is required to develop techniques for protecting children who are actually in transit, moving from one place to another in search of a better future.
  • Better and more imaginative use could be made of communications and information technology to protect children on the move, notably by ensuring they can stay in contact with others while travelling and after reaching their destination.
  •  Not enough attention has been given to understanding indigenous practices which have the effect of protecting children from harm and which can be strengthened at relatively little cost”.

Research on unaccompanied children in the US

The US-based Center for Public Policy Priorities has released a study of unaccompanied children in the United States who are repatriated to their home countries: A Child Alone and Without Papers: A Report on the Return and Repatriation of Unaccompanied and Undocumented Children by the United States (in English and Spanish, including a two-page summary) is available on the CPPP website.

A few key highlights:

  • Children are routinely mistreated by US authorities
  • Children are denied legal representation 
  • Children are denied access to their Consulates
  • Safety of children transported back to their home countries is not a major concern
  • Children are often returned to unsafe conditions.

The research report includes several key recommendations for policy and practice.