» Archive for: June, 2013

jpsThe Institute of Palestine Studies has compiled a series of articles from past issues of its Journal of Palestine Studies into a ‘Special Focus on Palestinian Youth‘.

Put together, these articles provide an interesting generational perspective on the Palestine question and the changes and continuaties over time. The special focus contains a total of six articles that first appeared between 1975 and 2006 and provides free access (till 30th June) to the following articles:

Zureik, Elia T. (1975), ‘The Palistinians in the Consciousness of Israeli Youth

Kuttab, Jonathan (1988), ‘The Children’s Revolt

(1999), ‘Through Children’s Eyes: Children’s rights in Shatila Camp’




Ayona Datta challenges the idea that the underrepresentation of women in academic conferences has much to do with any lack of confidence on part of female academics and much more with the difficulty of combining academic conferencing with primary care roles.

A recent article in the Times Higher Education reported on a study of the low representation of women in academic conferences. The study was led by Hannah Dugdale (University of Sheffield) and found that the rate of female invited speakers to a prestigious congress (European Society for Evolutionary Biology) was lower than the share of women authoring high profile papers or holding high-ranking academic positions in this field. Whilst, the share of invited women (15%) is only about half the number that would be expected, they also found that women were much more likely to turn down speaker invitations (50% vs 26% among men).

When Dugdale was asked to reflect on why women appear more likely to decline speaker invitations she speculated that ‘it could be related to their lower perception of their scientific ability and discomfort with self-promotion, as well as their childcare needs’. It is the first part of this assertion that Ayona Datta takes issue with on her blog The City Inside Out. Drawing on her own experiences, she describes the many challenges (young) academics with care roles and responsibilities are confronted with when attending academic conferences, whilst speaking at such events is vital for early career academics in particular.

Although it is arguably men that are far and few in children’s studies conferences especially (whilst it remains a question how this compares with the gender distribution of authorship and academic positions in the field), Ayona Datta raises the important point of how the issue of childcare is addressed by conference organisers. Something worth looking into, perhaps for children and youth studies conferences in particular.

posted by Roy Huijsmans

Final presentations

Category: Uncategorized

25 Jun 2013

imagesNearing the end of their 10.5 week post-graduate diploma programme in ‘Children, Youth & Development‘, all participants presented their final assignments today.

For this, participants could choose between preparing a ‘policy brief’, a ‘position paper’, or a ‘research proposal’, allowing participants to select a format that best fit the topic as well as their career paths. As usual, the topics presented varied greatly, including the impact of traditional male circumcision on education in Uganda, questions concerning family reunification and adoption in Argentina, sexual violence against girls in urban India, a global perspective on youth agency and popular music (hip hop), preventing violence against children in Pakistan, counteracting attitudes towards sexual abuse of students in Tanzania, the availability of HIV/AIDS services to youth with a disability in Ethiopia, and the role of children’s participation in disaster risk reduction in the Philippines.

After these stimulating presentations we now look forward to the graduation on Friday!



Double Standards

Category: migration

17 Jun 2013



In practice, children with Dutch nationality are primarily subject to family law (‘familie recht’), children with a refugee status are primarily subject to immigration law (‘vreemdelingenrecht’). The former is informed by children’s rights considerations, the latter not.

This practice of ‘double standards’ was one of the main concerns raised by several speakers in a debate (see picture) about children in families that are repatriated (forced and ‘voluntary’)  by the Dutch ‘Dienst Terugkeer & Vertrek‘ (‘Repatriation and Departure Service’ of the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice)  because they are not (or no longer) granted the right of residence in the Netherlands. The debate was co-organised this afternoon by Humanity House and the Dutch public broadcasting organisation VARA, ahead of the broadcasting on Dutch national television of a four-part documentary on the subject starting 26th June (entitled ‘Uitgezet’).


The numbers are significant. Since 2007 a total of 2650 children are repatriated by Dutch authorities of which 1429 under socalled ‘voluntary’ conditions. This includes repatriation to countries that are far from peaceful such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. The documentary makers argued that for many of these children a return to their ‘native country’ is traumatic. In fact, the notion of ‘native country’ is problematic as some of these children are, in fact, born in the Netherlands and had never seen the place to which they were ‘repatriated’.

Some children may be exempted from repatriation if they apply for and qualify for the so-called ‘Kinderpardon’. One of the eligibility criteria, is to have filed a request for asylum at least five years ago. For sure, one speaker stated, for those children repatriation is most probably going to be experienced as uprooting and traumatic. Yet, this is not to say that this is not equally the case for children who have been in the Netherlands for less than five years and are thus not eligible for exemption.

In a world of deep inequalities and conflict, migration regimes like that in the Netherlands are constantly put to the test and the idea that somehow migration can be ‘managed’ in an unarbitrary and humane manner must be an illusion. In fact, today’s debaters were pointing with their feet at one of the main contradictions underpinning the issue. A system that allows carpets (see top picture) to travel freely but severely restricts the movement of most people making these carpets is ridden with double standards.

posted by Roy Huijsmans



Recognising that youth does not represent ‘a homogenous category’ is an important step on part of the ILO, yet, its thinking about the role of age is rather puzzling.

A recent (2013) ILO report entitled Decent Work, Youth Employment and Migration in Asia authored by Piyasiri Wickramasekara lists a number of ‘distinctions’ (p8) manifesting within the category of youth. This list includes, ‘socio-economic background’, ‘gender’, ‘rural-urban’, ‘age’, etc. The explanation of how ‘age’ leads to social differentiation among youth is rather interesting:

‘Age: the 15-19 year group are teenagers while those between ages 20-24 years could be described as young adults. The first group is more at risk of child labour and informal work (ILO 2012b)’

This ultimately appears to say more about how the ILO sees the world than how ‘age’ may work as a relation of social differentiation between young people.

posted by Roy Huijsmans

International Institute of Social Studies

ISS is an international graduate school of policy-oriented critical social science. It brings together students and teachers from the Global South and the North in a European environment.