With support from Toyota Foundation’s International Grant Program, the Scalabrini Migration Center launched a new project entitled “Towards an Inclusive Environment for Children of Migrant and Multicultural Families in the Philippines, Japan and South Korea.” The project started on 1 November 2015 and will end on 31 October 2016. Dr. Maruja Asis and Ms. Karen Anne Liao of SMC are involved in the project in cooperation with Dr. Itaru Nagasaka (Hiroshima University) and Dr. Sachi Takahata (University of Shizuoka) in Japan, and with Dr. Angela Kim / Kim Yang Soon (Jeju Children’s Counseling Center) in South Korea.
The project focuses on children who have been affected by international migration. To date, children have not received sufficient attention in policies on international migration and integration in the Asian region. Migrant children and those in multicultural families grapple with issues of identity and belonging, which if not addressed, can put them in a disadvantaged position. The project will compile and profile programs and policies focusing on children in the three countries which are experiencing significant international migration and increasing cultural diversity. The experiences of the selected countries will provide insights on the issues, challenges and responses of an origin country, such as the Philippines, and destination countries, such as Japan and South Korea, may suggest possibilities for transnational cooperation.
The exchange of programs and sharing of experiences between practitioners and stakeholders are expected to contribute to the following:
(1) enhance knowledge about the challenges and opportunities facing migrant children and those in multicultural families;
(2) share good practices and initiatives;
(3) build networks of individuals and institutions;
(4) promote cooperation between stakeholders and between origin and destination countries; and
(5) enhance the appreciation of policies for preparing, welcoming and integrating children with a migrant or multicultural background in the larger community.
The different knowledge products will be disseminated through various media to reach a broader audience.