Rome 2019 Programme

Preserving family life through hard challenges
Thursday 14 November 2019

16.00 – 19.30: Registration of participants

18.00 – 20.00: Welcome cocktails (free for all registered participants)

Friday 15 November 2019

8.30 – 12.00: Registration of participants

Welcome and introduction

09:30 – 10:30: Anne BERGER (Chair ICCFR) and
Francesco BELLETTI (Director CISF)

A 17-minute documentary by PREETHI MANUEL about a teenage migrant from Sudan finding a foster home in the UK and his perilous journey to find refuge
(The movie will be shown on a continuous loop in a dedicated room throughout the Conference)

Session 1

10.30 – 11.30: Opening Session (Plenary)
Keynote speech: Descriptive-demographic-sociological aspects
Prof. Tuomas MARTIKAINEN – Finland
See more on Prof. Tuomas MARTIKAINEN

Dr. Tuomas Martikainen is the Director of the Migration Institute of Finland. He received a PhD in Religious Studies (Åbo Akademi Univeristy, 2004) with a thesis on religious incorporation of migrants into society in the City of Turku, Finland. His areas of expertise include migrant religious organisations, religious mapping, contemporary religious change, migrant integration and international migration. His publications include Religion, Migration, Settlement (Brill, 2013), several edited volumes and numerous writings in academic journals and books. Since 2015, he has been working at the Migration Institute of Finland. Martikainen has previously worked at Åbo Akademi University and the University of Helsinki.

Italian discussant: Antonello Scialdone (INAPP – Rome)

11.30 – 12.00: Break

12.00 – 13.30: Discussion groups

13.30 – 14.30: Lunch

Session 2

14.30 – 15.30
Keynote speech: Legal aspects
Sir Mathew THORPE – United Kingdom
See more on Sir Mathew Thorpe

The Rt. Hon. Sir Mathew Thorpe is a former Lord Justice of Appeal (England and Wales), Vice President of the Family Division and the inaugural Head of International Family Law. He remains the leading expert in the field of the international movement of children

Italian discussant: Paolo Morozzo Della Rocca

15.30 – 17.00: Discussion groups

17.00 – 18.30: Workshops – Part I (6 topics)

  1. Child Rearing in Migration and Refugee Contexts
    Speakers: Dr. Eveline Reisenauer (German Youth Institute): “Parent Education for Migrant Families”; Alissa Maxman (University of Hildesheim): “Children of Babylon: Parenting in Russian Families”; Prof. Dr. Manuela Westphal and Yasemin Ucan (University of Kassel): “Parenting from an Intercultural Comparative Perspective – A Focus on Fathers” (Germany) See details
    Even if there is a growing awareness of children affected by migration, there has been little academic engagement with the conditions of child rearing in migration and refugee contexts. This workshop aims to address this research gap by seeking to explore whether, and how, ideas and practices related to parental education are affected by migration experiences of families. We are therefore rising the question what role do culturally mediated models of education and religious convictions from the country of origin, migration circumstances, duration of stay and legal status in the immigration country as well as psychological distress due to migration play for family relationships and education. The workshop invites papers that consider any aspect of the nexus between family, education and migration. This includes papers on migration-specific ideas and practices of education, education in migrant families from the perspective of professional experience, and challenges of child rearing in migration contexts. We especially encourage contributions that explore the diversity and dynamics of migrant and refugee families with regard to education.
  2. Domestic Violence Services for Refugee Women and Children: How American service providers cope in a sanctuary city (EN)
    Speakers: Claire Barnes, Dion Roberts, Beverly Upton (USA)
    See details
    Claire N. Barnes, MA, Secretary/Treasurer, SST Family Foundation, San Francisco, CA, USA
    Dion Roberts, Executive Director, Mary Elizabeth Inn, San Francisco, CA, USA
    Beverly Upton, Executive Director, San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, San Francisco, CA, USAThe workshop will examine the difficulties encountered by Domestic Violence service providers supporting refugee women who may have entered the United States without authorization. The Plenary Panel will discuss challenges plus practical and policy solutions. A response by a European family law professional will be included.Introduction: On January 20, 2017, the current Administration took office. Since that date, the circumstances for refugee women in our country has worsened dramatically.
    American cities and communities are expected by the Administration to work cooperatively with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to help locate and return immigrant women who are suspected of entering the country without authorization. Expecting Domestic Violence service providers to cooperatively seek out refugee women in the United States who have escaped violence, murder, rape and other atrocities in their home countries revictimizes those who are literally running for their lives. European countries have experienced similar difficulties as refugees flee violence and turmoil.
    It is not against the law to seek asylum in America. However, those women refugees who hold questionable immigration status are reluctant to seek help if they have been abused by intimate partners, family, community or gang members. Agencies (NGO’s) offering help to these immigrants are frequently in conflict with their own regulatory and funding agencies and governments.
    Practical Implications for Domestic Violence Organizations: Domestic Violence Providers find themselves in direct conflict with the United States Government. They find it increasingly difficult or impossible to carry out their missions.
  3. Strangers at the Gate: Understanding what informs and influences our personal and social reactions to ‘the stranger at the gate’ (EN)
    Speaker: Robin Purvis (Australia)
    See details
    The refugee crisis is the humanitarian challenge of our time. Understanding what informs and influences our personal and social reactions to ‘the stranger at the gate’ is critical. I would propose an interactive, experiential workshop identifying intrapsychic factors such as denial, fear of difference, loss of territory, dissociation and projection, which inhibit responsiveness to the refugee populations in our midst. In Australia our governments have taken an uncompromising stance to refugees seeking unofficial asylum via boat (known as ‘boat people’), which has caused extreme polarisation in our community. There would be discussion of factors shaping Australian dilemmas, including difficulties integrating refugees who have come to our country through official channels, and resulting societal split.The experiential focus of the workshop would assist to identify attitudes, values and frames that shape our thinking and reactions and influence our capacity for responsiveness. Discussion would enable the tabling of challenges, emotional, psychological and practical, of integrating and providing social and economic support for refugees from war, famine and poverty. The workshop in articulating these psychodynamic factors would seek for participants to gain insight into the less than conscious realities that influence our reactions and determine our responsiveness or lack of it.
  4. The Role of Faith-based Organisations (FBOs) in Providing Support to Multigenerational Migrant Families: A South African intervention in family cohesion (EN)
    Speaker: Imelda Diouf (South Africa)
    See details
    Twenty-five years after the dawn of democracy migrant families experience youth as a particular challenge to family cohesion. There are increased pressures as parents parent parents! Of the 20,3 million persons aged 15-34, 40,7% are not in employment, education or training. Government services are stretched … families are breaking. Can FBOs provide a solution in strengthening family life and prevent further dislocation of migrant families?
    The Family Cohesion Project (FCP) was implemented as a pilot intervention, to assist families to improve their living circumstances. After 14 months of activities and using social research methods, including observation and interviews with target groups, data was gathered to determine the outcomes. A key finding of the FCP is that family strengthening has to address the challenge of “the youth dilemma!”
    The workshop methodology will:
    – Introduce the role and function of the Family Support Groups in addressing this challenge,
    – Share mechanisms to incorporate the use of the public and private sector family support services,
    – Discuss the pivotal role of FBOs in building the capacities of migrant families to make a meaningful contribution to family cohesion
  5. Humanitarian Corridors in Italy 2017-2019: A possible solution to human trafficking of migrant persons (in Italian)
    Speakers: Daniela Pompei, Paolo Morozzo della Rocca, Cecilia Pani (Comunità Sant’Egidio – Italy)
    See details
    More than three thousand people arrived in Italy via humanitarian corridors, organised by various NGOs. They are selected and certified as refugees in foreign camps (Lebanon, East Africa), arrive in Italy by plane and are sheltered in various parts of Italy, in small community centres, parishes and/or Italian families.
  6. The Shadow-line: The transition to adulthood of minors of foreign origin (In Italian)
    Speakers: Alessandra Cornice, Alfredo Rizzo, Simona Sperindé (Strategic Project “Integration of Migrants”, INAPP, National Institute for the Analysis of Public Policies – Italy)
    See details
    The Shadow-line: transition to adulthood by minors of foreign origin
    An analysis, in comparison with other countries, of the main issues to keep in mind and the key strategies for easing the transition of young people from the protected status of childhood to the autonomy of adulthood, without this transition becoming a permanent ‘shadow-line’.

19.00: SOCIAL EVENT incl. DINNER: Concert by the PIAZZA VITTORIO ORCHESTRA “No borders for music” (extra fee: 15 EUR)

Saturday 16 November 2019
Session 3

9.00 – 10.00
Keynote speech: Relational-psychological aspects and support/integration services
Dr. ROBERT A. SIMON – San Diego (USA)
See more on Robert A. Simon

Dr. Simon is a National Leader in Forensic Psychology Consulting, with over 30 years of experience in the legal domain of family law and domestic relations. Dr. Simon applies empowering, pragmatic, empirically driven and ethically integrated solutions. Dr. Simon is licensed as a Psychologist in California and Hawaii, and is available for consultation and speaking throughout North America and elsewhere.

Italian discussant: Daniela POMPEI

10.00 – 11.30: Discussion groups

11.30 – 12.00: Break

12.00 – 13.30: Workshops – Part II (6 topics)

  1. Living Conditions of Migrant Families and Children in Southern China (EN)
    Speakers: Jiexiao Huang, Agnes Law (China)
    See details
    According to the recent Census of Statistics, migrant population in mainland China is around 247 million, meaning approximately one in six persons in the country is in mobile situation, seeking work or moving from one place to another. With more advance economic and social development, Guangdong province has attracted a large number of migrants, mostly from rural areas. Along with the migrant workers, it is estimated that there are more than three million school aged children moved to Guangdong with their parents. In the past, migrant workers were used to work in the city as a single person while leaving their families behind. But at present, migrant workers are inclined to bring their families and children along with the hope to settle in the city. Such phenomenon creates many new public policy issues. The most imminent ones are how to make housing, education and medical care benefits available to them. In China, resident registration is the basis for local government to levy taxes and plan how to distribute resources and manage public services according to residents’ entitlement. The surge of migrant families and children has fundamentally changed the social structure and exert immense demands on local government to formulate new policy strategies to help new comers to integrate into local community, to obtain affordable schooling and housing. Apart from insufficient public services, the different life styles and value perceptions among groups of various ethnic origins are also sources of social conflicts and exclusions. Children are particularly vulnerable and at risk of delinquency if their families are facing hardship of social adjustment and financial difficulties.
    This presentation will briefly describe the living conditions of migrant families and their children in Southern China and the challenges they encounter in the process of seeking a better life in the city. The attempts of government and the NGO sectors in meeting their needs through new social service initiatives will also be discussed.
  2. The Right to Education for Migrant and Refugee Children in Europe (EN)
    Speaker: Irene Bertana (COFACE Families Europe–EU)
    See details
    The central mission of education is to give to all children, despite their conditions and origins, the possibility to reach their full potential. However, today the right to education is not always respected for migrant children in Europe. The COFACE Families Europe workshop will first address the main challenges of the present, and propose holistic solutions in the design of education policies, with a life-cycle approach and addressing not only children, but also their families, communities and school staff in order to create a better environment for children to flourish. Secondly, we will share inspiring practices of different COFACE members around Europe.
  3. Trauma-Informed Recovery for Children and Parents Separated through Migration (EN)
    Speaker: Dorcy Pruter (Conscious Co-Parenting Institute – USA)
    See details
    Trauma, a wound that never heals, succeeds in transforming the subsequent world into its own image, secure in its capacity to re-create the experience for time immemorial. It succeeds in passing the experience from one generation to the next. The present is lived as if it were the past. The result is that the next generation is deprived of its sense of social location and its capacity to creatively define itself autonomously from the former… when time becomes distorted as a result of overwhelming events, the natural distance between generations, demarcated by the passing of time and changing experience, becomes obscured.
    Our approaches to resolving childhood trauma began with psychoanalysis, but they have expanded as greater scientific understanding is brought to bear on the experience of childhood and the role of the parent-child relationship in shaping the brain’s neurological networks. With an increasing understanding of trauma and the role of parental empathy in recovery from trauma, alternative trauma-informed workshop methods have been developed to build empathy and recover healthy parent-child bonding. In this workshop, I will walk through the steps needed to create a trauma-informed recovery workshop for children and parents who have been separated through the migration to another country or separated family structure.
  4. Forced Migration and Religion: Coptic migrant families in Italy (In Italian)
    Speakers: Giovanni Giulio Valtolina, Laura Zanfrini, Cristina Giuliani, Camillo Regalia (Italy)
    See details
    In the last decade, international migrations in Italy have had an amazing growth, with an increasing incidence of families with children. In this multifaceted phenomenon, the factors linked to religious memberships play a more noteworthy role than as presented by official statistics. Moreover, religious belongings and values are key factors in the integration process, mainly through the mediation of the family and faith-based groups. So far, research and studies focusing on this topic are very limited and their outcomes have not been arranged in an interdisciplinary perspective, imperative for the understanding of a very convoluted occurrence, such as migration. Starting from evidence, collected during a multi-disciplinary study – supported by the Catholic University of Milan – aimed to filling this knowledge gap, this panel will focus on the following topics: religion and religious beliefs in the trajectories of (forced) migrant families; religious belonging and (forced) migration: a study on migrant Coptic families in Italy; religious belonging and (forced) migration: a study on migrant Coptic minors in Italy. Evidence upholds the key role of religion in the host country, as well as the importance of a “cross-cultural institutional folder” in order to maintain strong roots and develop new sprouts.
    Laura Zanfrini, Ph.D., Full Professor of Sociology of Migration, Catholic University of the Sacred Hearth, Milan.
    Camillo Regalia, Ph.D., Full Professor of Social Psychology, Catholic University of the Sacred Hearth, Milan.
    Cristina Giuliani, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Social Psychology, Catholic University of the Sacred Hearth, Milan.
    Giovanni Giulio Valtolina, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Intercultural Psychology; Catholic University of the Sacred Hearth, Milan.
  5. Multiethnicity, Socialisation, Education and Interculturality (In Italian)
    Speakers: Simone Varisco, Margherita Cestaro, Vinicio Ongini (Fondazione Migrantes – Italy)
    See details
    Details and History of Multiethnic Italy: Rapport between immigration, charity and migrants (Simone Varisco, Fondazione Migrantes)From Families to Social Institutions (Margherita Cestaro, University of Padua)
    Schooling and Interconnected Cultures: Educational models, bridge-building, and peripheral considerations (Vinicio Ongini, MIUR: Ministry of Education, University and Research)
  6. We Are Listeners who Welcome and Accompany: Family consultants who safeguard the rights of minors and migrants/refugees and their families when they are reunited (In Italian)
    Speakers: Stefania Sinigaglia, Rita Roberto, Sarah Hawker (AICCeF – Italy)
    See details
    Many adult and child migrants or refugees (whether accompanied or unaccompanied) are faced with numerous difficulties. It is difficult in these situations for social workers to preserve family life and help maintain the bond of a married couple, at the same time as giving support to long-distance parenting. The long-distance relationship of the couple and/or parent–child relationship and the subsequent reunification of the family members, once reasonable economic stability has been reached and housing has been found, are critical aspects of the family cycle of many migrants/refugees and as such must be understood in order to adequately respond to their needs expressed during their process of settlement. Reunification is a special phase in the lifecycle of such families, because it often requires new social practices that reshape and redefine roles and intra-family relationships, modified in time and space, which can contribute to marital and intergenerational divisions or conflicts. For this reason, specific attention must be paid to values of equality and respect. Although family unification is a right, it is also important to understand that it is not always a “sine qua non” for the success of the individual, couple and family project.
    The migrant or refugee family has a history spread out in time and space. Models of cohabitation and intra-family relations pose questions for our social workers and can often be perceived as “different” and “more problematic” when compared to Italian families of today. Too often the host country jumps to the conclusion that the distance that the migrant/refugee puts between parents and their children is a form of abandonment. In reality, in family consultancy, stories emerge that bring to light the patient work “of weaving family relationships” by family members, both in Italy and among those still living in the country of origin, who continue to maintain ties of trust that go beyond physical proximity, at least during the first years of the family’s reunification. While not minimizing the challenging nature of the event of reunification, we stress the need to widen our vision of the history of the migrant families and individuals, in order not to fall back on “standard procedures”, which run the risk of being seen as conventional interventions that fail properly to recognize the relationships and the resources of the family unit.
    The socio-educative pathway offered by the family consultant to the family and children is a valid form of support during the whole course of the family’s life, paying special attention to the many aspects of the family ‘on the move’. Thus, family consultants help and support the reunited family after reunification for an indeterminate time; they also help them to develop various aspects such as: mutual expectations, individual and family adaptability, separation from previous ties and the investment in the migration process. Furthermore, they offer valid preparation and support for voluntary “tutors” or for foster families, as specified in Articles 7 and 11 of Italian Law No. 47 of 7 April 2017, “Provisions regarding the protection measures for unaccompanied foreign minors”.
    During the workshop we will show a PowerPoint presentation on the theoretical and methodological fundamentals of the family consultancy process for migrant/refugee children and their parents and for their tutors and custodians. We will also refer to some case studies that illustrate the various phases of the work of family consultancy.


13.30 – 14.30: Lunch

Session 4

14.30 – 17.00: Closing Session
Round table and closing remarks from ICCFR

  • Agnes LAW, ICCFR Board (China)
  • Laura ZANFRINI, ISMU Foundation (Initiatives and Studies on Multiethnicity) Milan (Italy)
  • Vincenzo BASSI, FAFCE (Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe)
  • Lucilla ANASTASIO, Rome Bar Association (Italy)
  • Sir Mathew THORPE, ICCFR Trust (United Kingdom)

Conclusions: Sven IVERSEN, ICCFR Board (Germany)

17.00 – 18.00: Farewell drinks

Sunday 17 November 2019

At leisure: possible tour of Rome