Dec 12

This episode of Your Right to Speak is a press conference recording that took place on November 29, 2018 organized by the Ontario Children’s Advocacy Coalition. The press conference was in response to a recent decision by the Provincial Government. Below is a press release from the Ontario Children’s Advocacy Coalition regarding the Government’s Decision:

“On November 15, 2018, the Ontario Government announced its intention to discontinue the Ontario Child Advocate’s Office (OCA; formerly known as Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth). This Office ensures young people have a voice about things that affect their lives. This decision is especially devastating for young people living on the margins, Black youth, Indigenous youth, young people living in the care of public institutions like child welfare or youth justice and those with special challenges or disabilities.

The current Ontario government has said that they will transfer some of the functions of the Office of the Child Advocate to the Ombudsman of Ontario, a much larger office that deals with consumer complaints by adults in a wide range of public services, but that has no experience dealing with child welfare, child and youth mental health and youth justice sectors. Young people involved in those sectors are unfamiliar with the Ombudsman, and there are no opportunities for a collective voice. The Child Advocates Office would be subsumed under an institution that deals solely with adults. An independent Office must be maintained to ensure the appropriate support and care of Ontario’s most vulnerable children and youth.

Presently, the Provincial Child Advocate was chosen and appointed by an all-party Committee of the legislature and he reports directly to the legislature through the speaker. This is to ensure that his Office remains independent and is not unduly influenced by the government or at risk of reprisals for releasing reports to the public that are critical of the government’s performance, particularly as it relates to children in its care. Bill 57 introduced by the Progressive Conservative Government would cut three legislative officers which includes the Ontario Child Advocate. Disrupting the independence and authority of the Child Advocate who represents the most vulnerable children and youth in the province without thoughtful consideration of the facts or thorough public consultation demonstrates an unconscionable breach of power.”

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Jan 25

This episode is a conversation with Dr. Tuhinul Islam about the new book he co-edited called Residential Child and Youth Care in a Developing World- Global Perspectives. This important book is the first of a four volume set, looking at residential care around the world. Dr. Islam is a Social Work, child rights activist, researcher and academic from Bangladesh. Currently he is a research Fellow at the Northern University Bangladesh. Dr. Islam has been on the podcast before speaking about his research on residential care in Bangladesh. You can find that conversation at http://www.cycpodcast.org/e/residential-childcare-in-bangladesh-a-conversation-with-tuhinul-islam-1430240440/

 

Next week, we will post a conversation with the co-editor, Dr. Leon Fulcher.

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Oct 30

In Canada there was recently a United Nations special rapporteur who looked at the situation of Aboriginal people in Canada. At the end of his visit he is quoted as saying “From all I learned, I can only conclude that Canada faces a crises when it comes to the situation of indigenous peoples of the country”. Canada is not alone. In this podcast Daniel Wolfshadow Winkler talks about the history of Native people in the USA, the impact of this history on Native youth and culturally specific responses to address these impacts. Daniel WofShadow is the Director of Native American programs at Natchez Trace Youth Academy. He is a member of the Lakota Nation and has spent his career working with Native youth who have been identified as “at risk”.

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Sep 26

Today’s podcast is with Faisal Abu Aiheja of The Freedom Theatre located within the Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank. The Freedom Theatre is cultural centre that works with children, youth and adults "in which they are free to express themselves, to explore their creativity and emotions through culture and arts” (http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org). Faisal speaks about the experiences of young people growing up in Palestine and the work that the freedom theatre does to support these children and youth.

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Aug 01

This interview is with Jamal Alkirnawi, Jamal talks about working with young Bedouins in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Jamal discusses the New Dawn, an organization he started to address multiple needs of this population. He also speaks about his work with young Arab university students and the challenges many young people face transitioning from a semi-nomadic collectivist society.

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