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Migration and urbanization trends and family wellbeing in Canada: A focus on disability and Indigenous issues

Norah Keating Orcid Logo, Margo Hilbrecht

Online publication UNDESA, Volume: UN DESA consultation on Megatrends and Families https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/2022egms/migration-urbanization.html

Swansea University Author: Norah Keating Orcid Logo

Abstract

Discussions of migration and urbanization in Canada and many other nations typically focus on the experiences of individuals. By doing so, the importance of their family relationships and circumstances may be overlooked. A failure to account for broader family networks has wellbeing consequences for...

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Published in: Online publication UNDESA
Published: New York Invited paper which was presented to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs meeting on megatrends in families. 2022
Online Access: https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/2022egms/migration-urbanization.html
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa61780
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Abstract: Discussions of migration and urbanization in Canada and many other nations typically focus on the experiences of individuals. By doing so, the importance of their family relationships and circumstances may be overlooked. A failure to account for broader family networks has wellbeing consequences for both the people who migrate and/or move to urban locations and their family members who have stayed behind. Beyond the individual-level focus, policies related to migration are usually developed as population-level initiatives. This means that families considered vulnerable or at-risk due to certain health and/or demographic factors can remain unnoticed and their special needs unaccounted for. The experiences of these families during migration and urbanization merit greater attention so that policy makers and support services can ensure more equitable opportunities and better family wellbeing outcomes. This paper explores migration and urbanization in Canada in relation to family wellbeing with attention to two at-risk population groups: families with a family member who has a disability, and families that identify as Indigenous. Both groups experience exclusion, that is, systematic actions resulting in being overlooked, ignored, and at-risk. Indigenous families have endured a long history of colonialism, racism, and oppression (Saul, 2014), resulting in a legacy of grievous harm to families and the chronic underfunding of support services such as health care, housing, and child welfare (Government of Canada, 2018a; Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015). Families in which there is a member with a disability require ready access to affordable health care and related services to ensure appropriate support, which is linked to the wellbeing of all family members.
Item Description: https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/2022egms/migration-urbanization.html
Keywords: family wellbeing, indigenous, disability
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Funders: not funded