Workshop 1 - Wednesday 28 November
THE BEST INTERESTS QUESTION: STRATEGIES FOR BEST PRACTICE IN WORKING WITH REFUGEE CHILDREN AND YOUTH (FULLY BOOKED)
This workshop is booked please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on a waitlist.
A one day workshop for decision makers, advocates and carers who work with refugee children and youth in both the legal protection and social welfare spaces.
Co-facilitated by the Young Center and the University of Sydney Law School, the Best Interests Workshop has been designed to identify principles of best practice for working with children in situations of forced migration. The workshop will:
- identify challenges facing refugee children and youth at the various stages they present in asylum and transition to settlement processes;
- examine strategies for determining age and identifying vulnerabilities;
- discuss interviewing techniques and mechanisms for gathering information from and about children and young people;
- explore the concept of developing a child’s rights focus using international law and comparative practices as a guide; and
- provide practical training in ‘best interests’ determinations for refugee children and youth.
The Workshop will be followed on 29th – 30th November 2012 by the Creating New Futures for All Conference, hosted by The University of Sydney and One Billion Strong. This will bring together leading academics and organizations specializing in children’s rights, refugee protection and disability. The goal is to promote the sharing of knowledge, experience and good practice around inclusion of children and young persons (including those with disabilities) displaced by war, conflict or disaster.
For more information, please contact Mary Crock
Wednesday 28th November
|9:00am||Welcome, introductions and objectives||Facilitators: Maria Woltjen (Director, the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago Law School)|
Mary Crock (Professor of Public Law, University of Sydney)
|9:30-10:30am||Refugee Children in Context - A Panoramic View of the Systems
How children present (with and without parents/guardians) throughout refugee protection; border control and enforcement processes. A panel of experts will present the continuum of instances where children and young persons are affected by the immigration control and refugee protection processes in Australia. The session will also cover the guidelines used in decision making and/or advocacy and discuss gaps and challenges.
Panel members include:
Facilitators: Maria Woltjen and Mary Anne Kenny
Panel members from:
Identifying need and vulnerability
|1:30pm||Developing a child’s rights focus
How to develop a childs rights focus in the absence of domestic best interests laws governing this population of children.
This session will provide an introduction to relevant international law - in particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), guidelines from UNHCR (together with local child protection laws) to develop a rights based approach for advocates and decision makers.
Part I. Maria Woltjen will also give a presentation about the evolution of U.S. child advocate/guardian project.
Part II> Development of Best Interest recommendations. Workshop participants will learn how to use international authorities to develop best interests recommendationson behalf of asylum seeking children. Case studies will be used reflecting cases arising in the Australian context. Participants will be divided into small groups to consider the hypotheticals and invited to use the CRC and UNHCR Guidelines to develop arguments about the child’s best interests in each case. Case examples might include:
|Facilitated by Maria Woltjen|
|3:30pm||Mock Best Interests Determination Panel (BID)– We will convene a mock BID panel to develop recommendations on UAM case. Panelists, including the migration agent, an expert from the child’s country of origin, caring agency and expert on case issues - will discuss the case utilizing principles set forth in the CRC to try to reach concensus on behalf of the child. The audience will be invited to ask questions or make comments.||
Panel Supervisor: Maria Woltjen
|4:30pm||Workshop closing discussion, evaluation, and briefing for Thursday & Friday||Maria Woltjen
Workshop 2 - Wednesday 28 November
Workshop for disabled people's organisations
The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) seeks to advance the rights and dignity of refugee and displaced persons with disabilities through advocacy, research and capacity development initiatives to support disability-inclusive refugee policy and practice at international and country levels. Towards this goal, WRC have undertaken a number of key initiatives over the last five years, including supporting United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to implement their Guidance on Working with Persons with Disabilities in Forced Displacement in selected countries in the Asia region. A critical action in the UNHCR guidance is engaging host country Disabled Person’s Organizations (DPOs) in identifying the needs of refugees and displaced persons with disabilities, advocating for their inclusion in national programs, and establishing effective referral systems for access to services. WRC has a particular interest in supporting DPOs to work with refugee agencies and displaced persons with disabilities.
This one day workshop, co-facilitated by WRC and Disabled People International Asia-Pacific (DPIAP), will bring together DPOs from host and resettlement countries in Asia to:
- Raise awareness about the situation of refugees and displaced persons with disabilities across the region;
- Discuss the different ways DPOs are already working with refugee agencies and/or refugees and displaced persons with disabilities; and,
- Define future initiatives which DPOs may be able to undertake in their countries with refugee agencies and/or refugees and displaced persons with disabilities.
This workshop is free for selected DPO representatives whose attendance has been funded by AusAid under its International Seminar Support Scheme. These delegates will also be invited to attend the Creating New Futures for All Conference on 29th – 30th November at the University of Sydney. DPO representatives not based in Australia will have their travel and living expenses covered (pending funding approval).
Wednesday 28th November
|9:00am||Welcome, introductions and objectives||Emma Pearce (Women’s Refugee Commission) & Saowalak Thongkuay (DPIAP)|
|9:30am||Why consider refugees and displaced people in DPO work? The concept of cross-cutting issues.||Saowalak Thongkuay (DPIAP)|
|10:00am||Introducing refugee law: Who is a refugee? What is forced displacement or migration? What is the asylum process? What is resettlement?||Professor Mary Crock
(University of Sydney)
|11:00am||Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: How does it apply to refugees and displaced with disabilities in different settings?||Professor Ron McCallum AO (Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)|
|11:30am||Protection concerns of refugee and displaced persons with disabilities (with a specific focus on women, children and youth)||Emma Pearce (Women’s Refugee Commission)|
|12:00pm||UNHCR and persons with disabilities||UNHCR|
|1:30pm||Perspectives of refugees with disabilities|
|2:00pm||Group activity: How are we including refugees and displaced persons with disabilities in the disability movement?||Saowalak Thongkuay (DPIAP)|
|3:30pm||Action planning: What activities could we do to the future to include refugees and displaced persons with disabilities?||Emma Pearce (Women’s Refugee Commission)|
|4:30pm||Workshop evaluation and briefing for Thursday & Friday||Emma Pearce (Women’s Refugee Commission)|
For more information, please contact:
Women’s Refugee Commission