Paul: Free to Be You and Me. Or Not.

Of note:

If you grew up in any remotely liberal enclave of America in the 1970s or 1980s, you grew up believing a few things.

You believed that you lived in a land where the children were free,where it didn’t matter whether you were a boy or a girl because neither could limit your choices — not when you were a kid, not when you grew up. You believed it was perfectly fine for William to want a doll and if you were a girl, you might have been perfectly happy for him to take yours.

You believed these things because of “Free to Be … You and Me.” That landmark album, which had its 50th anniversary last month, and its companion book shaped a generation. It took the idealism and values of the civil rights and the women’s rights movements and packaged them into a treasury of songs, poems and stories that was at once earnest, silly and wholeheartedly sappy. It was the kind of thing a kid felt both devoted to and slightly embarrassed by. The soundtrack got stuck in your head. The book fell apart at the seams.

In other words, for a certain generation, “Free to Be” waschildhood.

And that achievement is something to celebrate no matter your age. Alas, marking that achievement — the brainchild of Marlo Thomas and other trailblazers including Carole Hart, Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Mary Rodgers — also means grappling with the erosion of those ideas. Is it possible we’ve moved past the egalitarian ideals of “Free to Be … You and Me,” and if so, is that a step forward?

To get to an answer, let’s consider what “Free to Be” had to say — and to sing. The album opened with a title song that proclaimed: “Every boy in this land grows to be his own man. In this land every girl grows to be her own woman.” That doesn’t sound like much now, but at the time, it was revolutionary. No matter how liberated your parents were, the larger culture still typically assumed rigid roles for boys and girls, the latter still very much considered the fragile sex. I can’t count how many times people told me, on finding out I had seven brothers, “How lucky you are to have them to protect you!”

“Free to Be” unshackled boys and girls from these kinds of gender stereotypes. As Pogrebin wrote in the book’s introduction, “What we have been seeking is a literature of human diversity that celebrates choice and that does not exclude any child from its pleasures because of race or sex, geography or family occupation, religion or temperament.” For what now seems like a brief moment, boys and girls wore the same unflattering turtlenecks and wide-wale corduroys. Parents encouraged daughters to dream about becoming doctors and police officers. Boys were urged to express feelings. Everyone was allowed to cry.

Then the pushback began. Some of it stemmed from ongoing conservative resistance to feminism’s gains. Some of it was about money. And some it of it emerged from a strain of progressivism that has repurposed some of the very stereotypes women and men worked so hard to sweep away.

These moves started with an ’80s backlash against the women’s movement and, while much of it was ideological, not surprisingly some of it was about money. When lucrative boomers became parents, the toy industry redivided playthings into separate aisles. In a round table for the 50th anniversary of Ms. magazine, also this year, Pogrebin remarked: “Now I have a stroke when I go through toy stores where still everything is pink and blue. When you order a toy online, they say, ‘Is it for a girl or a boy?’ They don’t say, ‘Is this a child who’s interested in nature or in bugs or in dinosaurs?’ They say, ‘Boy or girl?’ That was gone in the ’70s and ’80s. But that’s all slid backwards.”

Of course, when clothing, toys or books are gendered, companies selling those goods make more money. In their 2012 anthology, “When We Were Free to Be: Looking Back at a Children’s Classic and the Difference It Made,” Lori Rotskoff and Laura L. Lovett noted with dismay, “When crass commercialism shows its true colors, pink and blue don’t make purple, they make green, multiplying profits every time parents buy into the premise that girls and boys require different playthings, books, websites and computer games.”

Such stereotypes belie the lessons Mel Brooks and Marlo Thomas imparted in the beloved sketch “Boy Meets Girl,” featuring a girl baby and a boy baby, the latter of whom thinks he might be a girl because he’s afraid of mice and wants to be a cocktail waitress. Back at Main Street School in 1980, where my third-grade class performed the play version of the book, those were the most coveted roles. Everyone wanted to be one of those babies! I didn’t get the part, but I did get the message. Like other liberated kids, I accepted the reality of biological science that I was a girl — and rejected the fiction of gendered social conventions that as such, I should incline toward pink dresses and Barbies.

Now we risk losing those advances. In lieu of liberating children from gender, some educators have doubled down, offering children a smorgasbord of labels — gender identity, gender role, gender performance and gender expression — to affix to themselves from a young age. Some go so far as to suggest that not only is gender “assigned” to people at birth but that sex in humans is a spectrum (even though accepted science holds that sex in humans is fundamentally binary, with a tiny number of people having intersex traits). The effect of all this is that today we are defining people — especially children — by gender more than ever before, rather than trying to free both sexes from gender stereotypes.

Oh, for the days of “Parents Are People,” when Thomas and Harry Belafonte proposed that mommies and daddies — and by extension, women and men, regardless of whether they are parents — should no longer be held back by traditionalist expectations. That they could, as Rotskoff and Lovett put it, “transcend prevailing norms of acceptable ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ behavior.” That everyone, at base, is free to be “gender nonconforming.” (It’s worth noting that Thomas, when asked in 2015 if “Free to Be” fit in with transgender rights, said its message encompasses everyone.)

As for that land where the children run free, there is little running around now. Despite efforts at free-range parenting, kids tend to be hovered over at all times: In school by surveillance systems like GoGuardian and ClassDojo and the parent portal. In their free time, by the location devices built into their smartwatches and phones. At home, by nanny cams and smart devices. And the children probably are home, socializing on their screens rather than outside riding a bike or playing kick-the-can until someone yells “Dinner!”

We’ve found new ways to box children in.

In 2012, when I interviewed Marlo Thomas on the 40th anniversary of the “Free to Be,” she told me, “The ideas could never be outdated.” But whereas the 35th anniversary got a newly illustrated edition and the 40th anniversary was marked with an anthology of essays and stories in places like Slate and CNN, the 50th anniversary has quietly slipped by, but for a brief segment on NPR in which the host noted subsequent “huge changes when it comes to gender” and called some of the album “dated.”

Let’s not lose the positive changes. Why not open the book again, still widely available? Stream the album for your kids on Spotify. This is one case in which winding the clock back a little would actually be a real step forward.

Source: Free to Be You and Me. Or Not.

Refugee children don’t place significant demands on health care: Ontario data

Of note. No surprise the differences between private and government sponsored:
Refugee children and youth do not place substantial demands on the health-care system in Ontario when compared with their Canadian-born peers, new research indicates.
A study led by SickKids hospital in Toronto and non-profit research institute ICES compared 23,287 resettled refugees to 93,148 Ontario-born children and youth aged under 17 from 2008 to 2018.

Source: Refugee children don’t place significant demands on health care: Ontario data

Pain in Children is Often Ignored. For Children of Color, It’s Even Worse.

Of note, likely similar in Canada:

Judith McClellan, a social worker who lives in Salisbury, N.C., knows what it’s like to see her child in pain. Her daughter Kyarra, 15, has sickle cell disease, an inherited red blood cell disorder that most commonly affects Black people and frequently causes pain so excruciating that emergency opioids are necessary. When she was younger, Ms. McClellan said, Kyarra would describe the pain — caused by blockages in blood vessels — as feeling “like a butcher’s knife stabbing me 1,000 times in the same spot.”

During times of distress, Ms. McClellan said, “the protocol is we go to the nearest hospital” to receive powerful pain medications that will mitigate Kyarra’s discomfort until the crisis has passed. But because the McClellans, who are Black, live an hour and a half away from Kyarra’s primary hematologist, they often find themselves at emergency departments with medical staff who don’t know them and who often doubt Kyarra’s pain.

“If she says she has a pain level of eight — because she’s not screaming and hollering — they question, ‘Are you sure it’s an eight? Or are you making it an eight to get more pain medication?,’” Ms. McClellan said. “Sometimes I think they think she’s seeking drugs.”

Dr. Andrew Campbell, director of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Program at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., said that health care providers who don’t understand a condition like sickle cell disease, where pain is the hallmark feature, often mislabel Black children, particularly teenagers, as “drug seekers” or “opioid abusers.” There is also a “potential layer of racism” that can lead to that characterization, he added.

Last year, at a UNC hospital emergency department in Chapel Hill, N.C., a doctor reported Ms. McClellan to Child Protective Services because he was concerned about the fact that Kyarra had received 30 opioid prescriptions from 9 different doctors in North Carolina in the past year. That was too many, in his opinion. Ms. McClellan said that when she explained to the doctor that Kyarra’s prescriptions were necessary and in accordance with prescribing guidelines, he said, “If you’re not hiding anything, this will all work out.”

When asked about the incident, Alan Wolf, a spokesman for UNC Health, said that “hospital providers are obligated under North Carolina law to report suspected child neglect or abuse.”

In the end, the agency decided not to pursue the report, Ms. McClellan said, because “it didn’t meet the qualifications for abuse and neglect.”

Dr. Emily Hartford, an assistant professor in pediatric emergency medicine at the University of Washington who studies how differences in care can affect children, said that Kyarra’s experience is part of “a theme we’re starting to see over and over in the literature.”

In June, for instance, Dr. Hartford and her colleagues published a study in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine that analyzed the medical records of 833 12- to 16-year-olds who visited the Seattle Children’s hospital emergency department for migraine treatment between 2016 and 2020. They found that the children who were Black, Asian, Hispanic or who preferred to speak in a language other than English were less likely than white children to receive strong intravenous pain-relieving medications, despite reporting similar pain levels.

This jibes with past research, Dr. Hartford said, which has found that when children of color visit emergency departments for issues like bone fractures or appendicitis, for example, they are less likely than white children to be given appropriate pain medications, like opioids. Many studies have also found similar variations in pain treatment among adults of color.

“We would like there to be no differences by ethnicity and languages,” Dr. Hartford added. But “we have to uncover them as the first step to addressing them.”

Pain is subjective, hard to measure and often invisible. And in children — even more so than in adults — it is frequently misunderstoodundertreated and dismissed, as research has shown.

But in children of color, treatment can be worse. Dr. Ron Wyatt, a senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement who is based in Madison, Ala., noted that false beliefs about biological differences between Black people and white people — dating back to slavery — have had lasting effects on how people of color are treated in medical settings.

As part of an often-cited study published in 2016 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, for instance, researchers from the University of Virginia surveyed 222 white medical residents and students and found that more than a third of them believed that Black people had physically thicker skin than white people did. And about 7 percent believed that Black people’s nerve endings were less sensitive than white people’s. The participants with such erroneous beliefs also made less accurate pain treatment recommendations, the study authors found.

Dr. Lisa Cooper, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University and director of its Center for Health Equity, has found in her own research that the more implicit (or unconscious) biaswhite physicians have, the more poorly they communicate with Black patients.

One of her studies found that white doctors dominated conversations more with Black patients than they did with white patients, making it far more likely that Black patients’ concerns would go unheard and their conditions and pain would go undertreated. “It’s definitely a safety issue,” Dr. Cooper said.

Dr. Cristina Gonzalez, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City who teaches physicians how to recognize and manage their implicit biases, said she remembered one instance years ago when a young Hispanic patient came into the hospital complaining of severe pain. A staff member said, “I don’t think he is really in pain.” He was eventually diagnosed with a gallbladder infection, ‌Dr. Gonzalez said, but those doubts could have delayed his treatment and caused damage‌ that could have been life-threatening.

“Delaying care has significant health downstream effects,” she said.

Experts emphasized that the onus should not be on patients to improve their own care. In recent years, there has been a push by researchershospitals and lawmakers to help health care providers become more aware of their biases — which everyone has — and to change their behavior accordingly. But “those are things that take time,” Dr. Wyatt said. In the meantime, these strategies may help parents at the hospital:

Keep records. Write down your child’s medications, symptoms and pediatrician’s contact information. Then, give the staff this information, which will help them assess what type of care your child needs faster. This is particularly helpful if your child has a chronic condition and is taking medication regularly.

Get to know the hospital staff. Vanessa Finch, of Fort Lauderdale, Fl., whose son Kahleeb Beckett died at age 24 during a sickle cell crisis at the hospital, said that when Kahleeb was young, she found ways to connect with the hospital workers. “I volunteered. I kicked it with the social workers. I stayed in those doctors’ faces,” she said. “That makes a difference.” She discovered that when the medical staff felt a more personal connection to her son, who was Black, they were more empathetic to his pain.

Try to alleviate your child’s anxiety. Studies show that anxiety and pain are intricately interwoven and some surprisingly simple tactics can help to reduce anxiety and lessen perceptions of pain. These may include having your child imagine a favorite place, listening to a guided imagery exercise or offering distractions, like music or a video. You can use these strategies while waiting for treatment.

Take deep breaths. “We know that parents’ distress about their child’s pain in the E.D. really impacts how their child experiences pain and how they respond to treatment,” said Emily Law, an author of the recent study on migraine treatment in adolescents and an associate professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Washington. So do what you can to stay calm, whether that involves taking deep breaths or stepping out of the exam room to call a friend for support.

If necessary, file a complaint. If you feel that your child hasn’t been treated appropriately, ask to speak with a hospital social worker or write a complaint to the hospital to hold them accountable.

Source: Pain in Children is Often Ignored. For Children of Color, It’s Even Worse.

UK: Home Office makes £240m selling #citizenship to children

Not the first article I have seen on this money making scheme:

The Home Office has made more than £240m in profit from children caught in citizenship limbo since 2010, the New Statesman can reveal.

An exclusive analysis of registrations of children as British citizens has revealed that the department is making £640 per child by charging people far more in fees than an application costs to process. The figures show an estimated total surplus of almost £211m since 2010, which when adjusted for inflation comes in at more than £240m.

That total is likely to be an underestimate, because it only includes successful applications, not those of children who weren’t granted citizenship. The Home Office was contacted for comment, including on this number, but has not responded.

Under British law, since 1981, being born in the UK does not automatically entitle a child to citizenship. In the cases of some children whose parents have a certain immigration status, their families have to apply for citizenship for them. Currently it costs £1,012 to register a child as British, but Home Office documents show that the “unit cost” – the official estimate of how much an application costs the department – is only £372.

The analysis shows that fees for child registration have consistently outpaced costs. In 2010 it cost the Home Office £208 to register a child as British, but it charged people £470. Since then, fees have gone up 115 per cent, but unit costs have only risen 79 per cent.

The number of children registering as British has fallen over the last decade. In 2010 there were 48,659 successful registrations. In 2016 there were 30,799 and the last 12 months of data shows only 27,674 registrations. This trend suggests high fees may be putting people off applying, which may restrict people from living full lives, as the New Statesman reported in February. The children would not have a passport so would not be able to go on school trips abroad, for example.

The rising profit margin means the Home Office has consistently made more than £2m every quarter, even though the number of registrations has dwindled. Just 5,065 children registered as British in the third quarter of 2021, but that was still enough to make £3.2m – more money than when 10,586 children registered in the first quarter of 2012.

“Exploiting the need for people to formally register their British citizenship as a way to make money is shameful,” said Solange Valdez-Symonds, chief executive of the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens. She added that for many children, who were born and grew up in the UK, the fees effectively deprive them of their citizenship rights altogether, “leaving them alienated and excluded in their own country”.

The High Court ruled in 2019 that the government had set the fees without proper regard for children’s rights, a ruling that was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in 2021. In February this year, however, the Supreme Court concluded that parliament was entitled to allow the government to set the fees so high, so it would be up to MPs and peers to change that.

Source: Exclusive: Home Office makes £240m selling citizenship to children

Court lets Priti Patel keep charging children £1012 for citizenship

Of note, law should to be changed from this “profiteering:”

The Home Office will continue to make a £640 profit on each child charged for British citizenship, as of a court ruling on 2 February.

The Supreme Court ended the four-year long fight against fees charged for children, some of whom were born in the UK, to become British citizens. Even if they were born in the UK, some children whose parents have a certain immigration status are not automatically British citizens – their families have to apply for citizenship for them.

While the court recognised that the £1,012 charged for each child was far above the administration cost of registering them as British citizens (£372) it concluded that parliament had allowed the government to set a fee above the ability of applicants to pay – which means it’s up to MPs or peers to change it.

The previous home secretary, Sajid Javid, described the fee as “a huge amount of money for a child to pay”, but failed to change it while in office.

Members of the House of Lords last week attempted to amend the Nationality and Borders Bill to reduce the fee to £372, covering the administrative costs, and to scrap it for children in care.

Child O, who was at the centre of the case, was born in the UK and has never left the country but their family was unable to pay the fee when applying for citizenship when Child O was ten. The now 14-year-old said they felt “very let down and alone”.

Campaigners say excluding these children and young people from British citizenship causes them to feel alienated, excluded and isolated in their home country, and are calling for the fee to be lowered or scrapped entirely for children in care or who are unable to afford it.

Their case was taken up by Amnesty International UK, and the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC).

“This fee deprives thousands of children of their citizenship rights, yet the Home Office has chosen to keep overcharging, despite the alienation and exclusion this is causing,” said Steve Valdez-Symonds, Amnesty International UK’s refugee and migrant rights director.

Sam Genen, the lawyer who represented Amnesty in the case, said: “It is disappointing that the Supreme Court granted permission to hear arguments [on international law] but chose not to decide them.”

He added that the current composition and judgments by the court “show a reductive approach to the rights of the vulnerable. There is a general sense that the court seems less interested [in] individual rights and expertise.”

Amnesty and PRCBC had appealed a ruling by the Court of Appeal last year, which followed a ruling by the High Court in 2020 that the fee was excluding children from their citizenship rights.

Both lower courts found the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, had not given consideration to the best interests of children when setting the fee.

While the Home Secretary continues to have discretion in setting the citizenship fee for vulnerable children, parliament could choose to change that – all eyes are now on whether the Nationality and Borders Bill could be amended to reduce or remove the fee for children in care or who cannot afford to pay.

The Supreme Court ruling paradoxically highlighted the importance of British citizenship, noting: “It can contribute to one’s sense of identity and belonging, assisting people, and not least young people in their sensitive teenage years, to feel part of the wider community. It allows a person to participate in the political life of the local community and the country at large.”

Source: Court lets Priti Patel keep charging children £1012 for citizenship

British Labour MP: Children are being priced out of British citizenship – it’s unjust and must change

All UK citizenship fees are comparatively more expensive that other EU countries and Australia, Canada and the USA. But the fees for children are particularly high. The previous Conservative government, while increasing adult fees from $200 to $630 (including the right of citizenship), it left fees at $200 for children:

In the 2019 Conservative leadership election, Boris Johnson claimed: “I want everybody who comes here and makes their lives here to be and to feel British”. But government policy is effectively telling hundreds of thousands of children the exact opposite.

The children in question, born here to parents with leave to remain, like me, or born abroad but resident here for most of their lives, like our Prime Minister, are growing up in limbo in the country they call home instead of enjoying their full citizenship rights.

There are between 85,000 to 215,000 children with a legal entitlement to British citizenship who have ended up undocumented due to the extortionate registration fee. Through no fault of their own, they will go on to experience real difficulties in later life as a result, subjected to the same hostile environment measures that caused so much suffering to members of the Windrush generation. Many young people may not even realise they do not have citizenship until they try to travel, get a job, rent a home or are suddenly asked to pay international fees for their university education.

If the £35 fee introduced in 1983 had risen in line with inflation, it would be £120 today. Instead, it is now £1,012 and one of the highest such fees in Europe, doubling in the last decade alone. We are charging British children ten times more to claim their citizenship rights than their counterparts in Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden.

Of the current fee, the Home Office reports that £372 accounts for administrative costs and freely admits that the remaining £640 is pure profit. Research by Citizens UK shows that between 2017 and 2020 alone, the government has made a £102,749,216 profit from these child citizenship fees.

When I challenged the Prime Minister on this practice earlier in the year at PMQs, the Prime Minister said there were “costs that must be borne by the taxpayer” and that citizenship was “a prize”. The courts have consistently disagreed with the Prime Minister’s stance, with the Court of Appeal recently upholding the High Court’s ruling that this fee was unlawful and ordering the Home Office to reconsider it.

On questions of citizenship, it’s clear that the government knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. For these children, British citizenship is a legal entitlement, not a prize or an investment. Instead of endlessly appealing, they should accept it’s wrong to set fees so high that it blocks families from applying.

Most of the children priced out of citizenship come from households facing higher levels of hardship and poverty. Many are from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds. Some come from families slapped with the ‘no recourse to public funds’ condition, preventing them from accessing basic services.

The government continues to justify these fees on the basis of fiscal responsibility but it’s absurd that they believe an effective levy on poorer households is a sustainable way of financing their immigration system. Above all, there’s nothing responsible about creating a situation where children are deprived of their rights for want of money.

It’s also a scandal that many looked after children are emerging from our care system without British citizenship. These children have been entrusted to the care of the state. The state has a responsibility to get the best outcomes for them.

I regularly speak to young people in my constituency who face feelings of worry, alienation and social exclusion as a result of being denied citizenship. The harm of being denied your citizenship rights in the only country you truly know cannot be overstated. It’s not just about the societal barriers you face, it’s about the psychological impact of being constantly treated as a second-class citizen.

You can’t put a price on belonging. Yet that’s exactly what this government continues to do. With the return of the nationality and borders bill, we have a chance to change this. My amendment to the legislation would cut the registration fee down to cost price, scrap it completely for looked after children and compel the government to produce a report on the impact that fees have on children’s right to citizenship.

These children are as British as anyone else. It is immoral and unjust that they continue to be blocked from citizenship and subjected to humiliating treatment as a result. If you grow up in the UK, British citizenship should be your right – not a privilege you pay the government large sums of money to bestow.

Source: Children are being priced out of British citizenship – it’s unjust and must change

Make becoming a German citizen easier, integration ministers urge

Of note:

Children born to foreigners living in Germany should be granted faster access by law to German citizenship, integration ministers from Germany’s 16 states have urged in a majority appeal

Meeting in the harbor city-state of Bremen Friday, ministers called on the federal government to reform Germany’s Nationality Act (StAG) by reducing a resident child’s waiting time for citizenship from the current eight years to six years.

A reduction to four years should apply to foreign families who show special integrative aptitude, urged ministers, who form Germany’s Integration Ministers’ Conference (IntMK). The group, whose rotating chair is currently held by Bremen’s Social and Integration Senator Anja Stahmann of Germany’s opposition Greens, was initiated under Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2007 to coordinate regional and federal policies, but often exposes major differences among state approaches.

Stahmann said ministers meeting Friday also urged for relaxing Germany’s legislated aversion to multiple nationalities and that German language acquisition at the mid-range B1 level be sufficient to test successfully for citizenship.

The IntMK also received a study showing trust migrants hold toward German authorities and urged the federal government to fully use EU-negotiated quotas to bring “subsidiary” family members and reunite them with refugees already in Germany. Of the 12,000 such entries possible last year only 5,300 visas were issued, it said.

Last week, a flight carrying 103 refugees landed in Hanover, raising to 2,765 the number of arrivals in Germany since April 2020, meeting the target of 2,750 that Germany had declared itself willing to accept.

Source: Make becoming a German citizen easier, integration ministers urge

Korean citizenship may soon be more attainable for foreign children

Marginal change, given requirement for “deep ties”, with priority given to those whose families have been in Korea for two generations:

The underage children of foreigners with permanent residency in Korea may soon be able to acquire Korean citizenship under a revision to the nationality law proposed by the Ministry of Justice on Monday.

Generally, the acquisition of Korean nationality follows the principle of jus sanguinis, and ethnic Koreans are able to more easily attain Korean citizenship.

However, the Ministry of Justice’s proposed revision to the Nationality Act will introduce a “simple nationality acquisition policy for young children born in Korea to permanent residents.” Under the revised law, if a permanent resident with “deep ties” to Korea gives birth to a child in Korea, the child will become a citizen by simply reporting his or her intent to acquire Korean nationality to the Minister of Justice.

Previously, children born in Korea to permanent residents had to apply for naturalization, even if they completed their primary and secondary education in the country.

Although the revision does not signal a complete abandonment of the jus sanguinis principle, it would make it significantly easier for minors to become Korean citizens earlier in their youth.

If the revision passes, children 6 years old or younger would be able to report an intent to naturalize without any additional requirements. Children who are 7 or older can do the same, provided they have resided in the country five or more years.

However, not all children born on Korean soil to permanent residents can naturalize with ease under the policy. Priority will be given to those children whose families have been in Korea for two or more generations and permanent residents who have “deep blood or cultural ties” to the country.

One of the main beneficiaries of the law will be ethnic Chinese who have resided in Korea for several decades but were barred from citizenship under the strict application of the jus sanguinis principle.

According to government estimates, about 3,900 individuals are currently eligible to acquire Korean nationality under the revised scheme. The Ministry of Justice believes that 600 to 700 additional people will be eligible every year.

“By giving children of permanent residents with deep ties to Korean society an opportunity to acquire nationality early, [the policy] will help foster their cultural identity and establish stability,” the Justice Ministry said. “It will also contribute to secure growth in the labor pool in the era of low birth rates and an aging population.”

Source: Korean citizenship may soon be more attainable for foreign children

Canada must process applications for children’s immigration in six months: advocates

Of note:

Ottawa should establish a standard of six months to reunite newcomers to Canada with their children, as many refugee and immigrant families now wait years, says a national advocacy group.

The long wait is unacceptable, especially for children who are separated from both parents, said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

She said parents who have been forced to flee as refugees end up in many cases leaving their children with a grandparent, another family member or even a neighbour in their home countries.

Source: Canada must process applications for children’s immigration in six months: advocates

A new Windrush is in the making. Its victims are the most vulnerable of young people

Of note:

Three years on, the individual tales of Windrush injustice still have the power to catch my breath. Men and women who moved to Britain as children decades ago, who found themselves banished from the UK for the remainder of their life after a holiday abroad, wrongfully arrested, detained and threatened with deportation, and denied life-saving care on the NHS. So many stories of the British state ruining black lives, but one stands out for its exquisite cruelty: that of Jay, the son of a Windrush immigrant.

Jay was born in the UK and taken into care as a baby. When he applied for a passport as a teenager he was told he did not have enough information about the status of his estranged mother. After his third unsuccessful application, the Home Office threatened to deport him to Jamaica and forced him to declare himself stateless. He was only able to secure a passport years later, after the Windrush scandal broke and his case received significant media attention.

Source: A new Windrush is in the making. Its victims are the most vulnerable of young people