Global Childhoods Seminar Series

Global Childhoods Seminar Series

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Kwong Lee Dow Building

Room Q230

234 Queensberry Street

Carlton, VIC 3053


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The Global Childhoods Seminar Series delves into lives and experiences of children up to 18, discussing worldviews and perspectives.

About this event

A range of national and internationally renowned speakers raise critical issues at each of our events. Supported by the Global Childhoods Hub at MGSE, speakers at the Global Childhoods Seminar Series connect children’s lives and futures with contemporary childhood research, teaching and diverse contexts.

The inaugural event on June 1st, 2022 brings together Narita Waight and Ian Hamm, sharing their work from Indigenous perspectives as a dialogue across disciplinary themes and research problems. They specifically relate to equity, social justice and disadvantage and elevate and engage with pressing contemporary issues affecting Indigenous Australian and global childhoods and youth.

You are welcome to attend all events in the Global Childhoods Seminar series in person or online. They will also be recorded and available for reference after the event.

When Migrant Domestic Workers become Mothers… What happens to the children? Worldwide, estimates suggest that more than 20 million migrant women, predominantly from poor countries, work in domestic service in wealthier countries. Researchers have drawn our attention to the plight of children ‘left behind’ when their mothers migrate, but far less attention has been paid to the lives of children born in destination countries. In destinations such as Lebanon, migrant domestic worker employment – and right to residency – is governed by the kafala, or sponsorship, system which prohibits pregnancy and childbirth. Despite this prohibition, considerable numbers of women do give birth, leaving them at risk of unemployment, visa cancellation, and ‘illegalisation’. Compounding the situation, many mothers in this situation encounter substantial barriers to returning to home countries with their children. This presentation draws on interviews with Ethiopian mothers living in Lebanon, and with those seeking to support them, to examine the gendered structural violence that governs these women’s lives and leaves their children at high risk of lifelong harm.

Karen Block is Associate Director of the Child and Community Wellbeing Program in the Centre for Health Equity and Academic Convenor of the Anti-racism Hallmark Research Initiative at the University of Melbourne. She also leads the Migration and Mobility research program for the Melbourne Social Equity Institute. Her recent and current research includes a range of projects involving immigrant and refugee-background young people, women and families focused on social inclusion across the life course, health inequalities, gender-based violence, and anti-racism.

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