An article by Daniel Trilling in The Guardian highlights 5 myths about the Refugee Crisis. One of the myths is that the crisis is over. Although arrivals have decreased and governments have limited the movement of undocumented migrants within the European Union, the reality is that thousands remain in reception centres or camps in southern Europe, while others attempt to settle in new places.
Another important myth highlighted in the article is that "we can neatly separate refugees from economic migrants." Trilling states "most of us are economic migrants - even if within our own countries – but the term has taken on a new and pejorative meaning since the refugee crisis."
CBC News reports that in the past 14 months, Algeria has abandoned over 13,000 people in the Sahara Desert.
The migrants are from sub-Saharan African - Mali, the Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Niger and more - that are heading toward Europe, some are escaping violence, while others are simply hoping to make a living. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports "for every migrant known to have died crossing the Mediterranean, as many as two are lost in the desert — potentially upwards of 30,000 people since 2014."
New York City's public hospitals have treated 12 migrant children in its emergency rooms who were recently separated from their parents and placed in short-term foster care.
NYC Health & Hospitals CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz stated that these were the only children identified to date by the health system as being separated from their parents.
"We know the health risks associated with tearing apart children from their families are very real, including an increased risk of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and attention-deficit disorder," said Katz.
According to a report by the University of Toronto’s International Human Rights Program (IHRP), Invisible Citizens: Canadian Children in Immigration Detention, Canada has housed over 200 Canadian children in detention in Toronto’s Immigration Holding Centre since 2011, as well as hundreds of formally detained non-Canadian children.
The report recommends that "Canada urgently implement alternatives to the detention of children rather than confining them in immigration detention facilities or separating them from their detained parents."
The #donttakethekids movement has requested that children’s toys be piled in front of the US Consulate in Toronto on June 8, 2018 at 2 pm.
"The US administration has found a powerful new way to stop people from crossing its borders: taking away their children. In recent months, over 700 little kids – including more than 100 babies and toddlers – have been taken from their detained parents and sent to facilities across the country."
The toys will represent a donation to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is fighting the new policy in court. The event details can be found here.
According to a BBC article, transgender migrant Roxana Hernandez was being held by immigration authorities in New Mexico when she became sick. She travelled via the migrant caravan which President Trump had criticized. Hernandez was escaping violence, hate and stigma in Central America.
Immigrants' rights groups are asking for "dignified and humane treatment for all asylum seekers, medical care sensitive to the needs of transgender people and those with HIV, and the closure of all immigration detention centres."
A new report by GloMHI Members Dr. Uttam Bajwa and Dr. Denise Gastaldo along with Dr. Erica Di Ruggeiro explores the rapidly growing gig economy and reveals new insights on how online platform-mediated work has the potential to transform the future of work and health in Canada and internationally.
In the context of the rise of digital platform businesses, “gigs” are short-term, temporary contracts that are typically low paid and provide no training, health, or retirement benefits. More and more Canadians are participating in the gig economy, a trend with significant health implications, especially related to precarious work and income insecurity –major predictors of disease.
According to the report, Towards an Understanding of Workers in the Global Gig Economy, measuring the size of the gig economy is challenging because the work is largely invisible and not captured by existing labour market statistics and economic indicators.
The report provides frameworks for approaching gig worker vulnerabilities, underscores the importance of exploring the knowledge gaps, and the need for further research on the social, economic, and health implications of gig work.
The Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, in collaboration with the Global Migration and Health Initiative (GloMHI), are hosting the Work, Migration and Health Forum 2018.
The Forum examines the labour experiences of temporary foreign workers, new immigrants, refugees, working international students and undocumented migrants, and explores opportunities for effective interventions, including: developing responsive policies and regulations; providing accessible health care, social services, and community support; delivering workplace health and safety prevention initiatives; and fostering the engagement and empowerment of workers.
The event will take place at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (UofT) on May 8 & 9, 2018 with a Pre-Event Public Lecture on the evening of May 7, 2018. Confirmed keynote speakers include Dr. Santino Severoni of the World Health Organization (WHO), Sara Mojtehedzadeh of the Toronto Star, Nadira Begum from Access Alliance and Basak Yanar of the Institute for Work and Health (IWH).
The Guardian reports that Amber Rudd has quit her position as home secretary after "repeatedly struggling to explain her role in the unjust treatment of Windrush generation migrants."
In her resignation letter to the Prime Minister Theresa May, Rudd stated she is resigning because after reviewing the officials advice, she now agrees that she should have been "aware that the Home Office had targets for the removal of illegal immigrants."
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will be screening the film, Human Flow, on April 23 at Mayfair Theatre in Ottawa. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on refugee and migration issues with experts and aid workers from Doctors Without Borders, who will share their stories of responding to the needs of refugees, migrants and internally displaced people in various places around the world.
Speakers will include MSF's Dr. Joanne Perry and Carol Devine who works on forced migration and climate change.
Applied research Advocacy