17 August, 2022

Held in Toronto conference on the rights of children in Central America and the Caribbean

Oscar Vigil

Toronto, Glen. An international conference entitled "Protecting the rights of children, and adolescents in Central America, Caribbean, and Canada ", It took place this week in Toronto, with the participation of various institutions, social workers and young second-generation Latinos.

The conference is part of the Research Project on the Rights of Children, And Adolescents (RCyp for its acronym in English), which it is a six-year research that aims to increase awareness of the factors that support or hinder the protection of the rights of children, and adolescents in Central America and the Caribbean and their Diasporas in Canada, said Dr. Henry Parada, Salvadoran origin, professor at the School of Social Work at Ryerson University and who is in charge of the investigation.

"What we want to create is a voice that explains immigration, but not from the Canadian perspective, North American, but come from the south and create a narrative against "to the explanations previously established.

He explained that in this effort are working with partners in seven countries: Glen, Dominican Republic, The Savior, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

"The idea is to unite efforts among young, researchers, professionals and community members to address issues of child rights and displacement, girls, and adolescents in Central America, Caribbean, and Canada ", he said, adding that every year and a half colleagues from seven countries meet to put on the table the advances that are being met. The first conference was held in Trinidad and Tobago, Today was held in Toronto, and the next will probably be held in the Dominican Republic or Guatemala.

In this sense, the conference this week was to share knowledge and specific objectives project data rCyp; create a forum for young people to engage meaningfully with researchers and practitioners on issues that directly affect them; and increase collaboration and international and multi-sector partnerships to work on improving the protection of children and young people in Central America, the Caribbean and Canada.

For it, specialized speakers were brought in diverse areas and diverse panelists who addressed issues such as defense also called, rights and protection of young people; Caribbean or Central American identity, representation and sense of belonging; policies and institutions of child protection, criminal justice and / or education; migration, immigration and displacement; forms of social violence, politics, economic and institutional; Use social networks and information and communications technology; personal experiences and other relevant topics related support, programs, organizations, media, publications, research, etc.

"Our social function, as researchers, It is to create evidence ", Parada said, before explaining that "in Central America that serves to create policies, here in Canada it is more difficult to create policies, but recommendations are made, because this information is submitted to the Immigration Department and various national organizations ".

He added that this research process working with government agencies, with universities, with youth and non-governmental organizations both in Canada and in Central America and Caribbean, and this must be so because, for example, protection systems are implemented by government entities, but the issue of violence, among others, It must be addressed directly with communities.

Have you had difficulties in the development of this project given the nature of this? "Yes, There have been several. For example, the project was participating Nicaragua, but nevertheless, at the end we had to leave out because of the political situation that occurred in the country and which did not allow us to participate properly. We were also working with the Dominican Republic, but we left because of hurricanes ", Parada said.

further, "The whole process has different dynamics, Some countries are more advanced than others, and Canadian diaspora even need to create more evidence in the sense that it is necessary to know more about the experience of young people speaking Spanish from the Central American area, because we have obtained more than those from the black Caribbean ", said lead researcher.

During the event, It held from Monday to Wednesday at the YMCA facility in the city center, was notorious Latino youth participation as public and as speakers, as well as Hispanic community workers.

It was also highlighted the participation of professors from universities in Central America (particularly Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador), Caribbean and Mexico.

"One purpose of such programs is to train new generations of leaders both academic and community. The idea is that we need to let young people the space for them to make decisions, the project and facilitates creating these spaces for them to make decisions ", Dr ended. Henry Parada.