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It Takes a Village to Raise a Child - Conference

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child - Conference

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EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

Custom House Quay

Dublin 1

Ireland

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Conference exploring the issue of children of African descent in state care in Ireland

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The 2021 report by Childcare Law Reform highlighted that ethnic minority parents —migrants, travellers and Roma—were disproportionately represented in child care proceedings. The particular issues posed in such cases included trans-national or trans-ethnic placements, children being left behind by a parent, language barriers, and a lack of cultural sensitivity. Some cases involved engagement with cultural and traditional practices like early marriage and strict parenting styles. The report recommends commissioning research on the reasons for and implications of this disproportionate number of children subject to care proceedings originating from Traveller and ethnic minority backgrounds.

In 2014, the interim report on the Child Law Reporting Project indicated that African families are 20 times more likely to end up in the childcare courts. By international standards, the removal of a child from familial environment should be a measure of last resort, and, if they are removed, the reunification of the family must generally continue to be under active consideration. However, in practice, it appears that most of the African children are only released from care when they turn 18 years old, which is too late for family reunification leading to other issues linked to their migrant status, right to family reunification and settlement often resulting in family dysfunction.

This conference is the final instalment of the 'It Takes a Village to Raise a Child” project—the title of which references an African proverb exemplifying the communal nature of child rearing. This project seeks to explore African culture in parenting and child-rearing, which too often is misunderstood in Ireland. The objective of this conference is to raise awareness about cultural differences in child-rearing and to promote positive aspects of the African culture among service providers, frontline services and decision makers. It also aims to advocate for the provision of culturally competent support and services provided by frontline services and within mainstream services, institutions and policy development.

AkiDwA invites you to attend our conference which will be taking place at the EPIC museum, Dublin on the 31st of May. We will be launching our report on Migrant Children of African Descent in Ireland as well as a collection of stories from migrant mothers from African backgrounds in Ireland. We hope to invite representatives from the United Nations (OHCHR), the International Decade of People of African Descent (IDPAD), the Irish Human Rights and Equality Council (IHREC), the Child Rights Alliance and migrant parents to speak, shed light on and devise solutions for this incredibly pertinent issue.

This conference is an opportunity to listen to the voices of migrant mothers who will be sharing experiences on the day. We hope to see you there!

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Date and time

Location

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

Custom House Quay

Dublin 1

Ireland

View Map

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