Generously funded by the European Commission Department for International Cooperation and Development, the project, titled “The Roles of Faith and Local Faith Communities in Supporting Refugees” aims to examine the ways in which local communities provide different forms of support to, and advocate for the protection of refugees in Honduras, Mexico, Uganda, Germany, and Lebanon.
JLI and UNHCR just released the case studies on local faith community-led responses to refugees in Honduras: CASM – Mennonite Social Action Committee , Mexico -La 72, Uganda -Lutheran World Federation, Germany -Refugee’s Church, and Lebanon -MERATH . The project collaborators include Dr. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh at University College London and Atallah Fitzgibbon at Islamic Relief Worldwide, the co-chairs of the JLI Refugee and Forced Migration Learning Hub. Dr. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Dr. Olivia Wilkinson, JLI Research Director.
The JLI recently hosted an online event to learn about the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) adoption directly from UNHCR. JLI Research Director launched our new policy brief on faith actors and the implementation of the GCR. A range of organizations about their reflections on faith and the GCR.
Agenda and quick highlights
Welcome – Jean Duff, JLI Coordinator
Update on the GCR and role of faith actors – Rachel Criswell, NGO and Faith Liaison, UNHCR
With increasing numbers of refugees and protracted discplacement worldwide, robust support from the start to bolster areas such as infrastructure, water supply, hospitals, schools, and roads. The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) was set out in the New York Declaration (NYD) for Refugees and Migrants (Sept 2016), adopted by all 193 Member States of the UN.CRRF forms the basis of the new Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), which operationalize it through a Programme of Action and translate policies into practice. The GCR is based on the experiences in practical application of the CRRF in concrete situations in the field. The GCR calls for the response to a crisis to supplement humanitarian services with development support for refugee and host communities alike. After two years of consultation, on December 17, member states excluding the US and Hungary ratified the GCR at the UN General Assembly.
Good practice case studies, implementation of the CRRF and further information on comprehensive refugee response can be found at http://www.globalcrrf.org
Role of Faith Actors in Implementing the Global Compact – Dr. Olivia Wilkinson, JLI Director of Research (Launch of new JLI policy brief)
“Faith-based actors could support the planning and delivery of arrangements to assist refugees and host communities, including in the areas of conflict prevention, reconciliation, and peacebuilding, as well as other relevant areas.”– Global Compact on Refugees, UNHCR
Roles of Faith Actors in Arrangements for Burden- and Responsibility-sharing and three Areas in Need of Support (1.Reception and Admission, 2.Meeting Needs and Supporting Communities, 3.Solutions).
Faith actors are actively involved in responding to forced displacement, well-positioned to mobilize resources, and provide material and immaterial support to foster appropriate, tailored response.
Faith actors’ experience and role should be acknowledged and considered in the design and implementation of every stage of the humanitarian response to forced displacement.
Faith can play an instrumental role in forced migrants’ experiences. Stakeholders should work to more fully understand this aspect of displacement experiences and facilitate spiritual support across all stages and places of displacement.
Tom Albinson, International Association for Refugees (with Christine Macmillan at World Evangelical Alliance)
Presented IAFR Continuum of Reponse. Model to help faith communities understand how to support people in recovery and long-term durable solutions
helping people who are displaced or are refugees find support, people recovering from trauma and people who are in new contexts, people who need spiritual support and listening to those displaced to affirm their dignity be a part of the solution
JLI New Policy Brief- Faith Actors and Global Compact on Refugees
To maximize the significant opportunities presented by the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), the international community must recognize the experience and capabilities of faith actors (FAs) and break down existing barriers to partnerships to enable a more comprehensive, effective, and durable response.
While the GCR does acknowledge that: “Faith-based actors could support the planning and delivery of arrangements to assist refugees and host communities, including in the areas of conflict prevention, reconciliation, and peacebuilding, as well as other relevant areas,” the critical and comprehensive role that FAs play – as well as their potential for efficient service delivery – warrants a fuller and more nuanced examination.
The following policy brief provides a set of recommendations based on evidence concerning the multiple roles that faith and faith actors play across different stages and spaces of forced displacement. The brief is aligned with the GCR’s sections on Arrangements for Burden- and Responsibility-sharing and its three Areas in Need of Support (Reception and Admission, Meeting Needs and Supporting Communities, and Solutions)
This brief and corresponding resource brief were funded through the Luce Foundation
JLI co-hosted the Faith Action for Children on the Move Forum with ore than 185 leaders originating from 38 countries and representing 85 organizations gathered at the General Curia of the Society of Jesus in Rome. The forum shared learning around three key evidence-based themes for effective faith engagement to support Children on the Move and to refine and finalize an Action Plan.
The three specific themes, supported by JLI Evidence briefs above, were: (1) Spiritual support to children and caregivers as a source of healing and resilience, (2) Strengthening the continuum of protection for children on the move, and (3) Building peaceful societies and combatting xenophobia.
The co-organizing partners and Action Plan committee have opened the Action Plan review process to participants and co-organizing partners through November 30th for comments focused on clarification and factual correction.
Please make comments directly to the document here or send them to [email protected]. All comments will be collated and shared with the Action Plan committee for the final document which will be made available in December.
The Moral Imperative’s “Results for Children: Faith Actors High Level Advocacy Forum in Investing in Early Childhood Development
The event, co-organized by the Moral Imperative to End Extreme Poverty and Arigatou International formed part of the Civil Society Organizations sessions at the just concluded joint Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the IMF, 9-12 October, at the Bali International Convention Centre.
Results for Children: The Moral Imperatives Core Message for Action to Secure Wellbeing Outcomes for Early Childhood
Investing in children can deliver dramatic outcomes for the wellbeing of children. Improvements in the science of child development have also made graphic the devastating consequences of childhood adversity and deprivation. There is now a global consensus that it is possible to achieve wellbeing for children by redressing the drivers of childhood adversity.
Despite ambitious goals and commitments for sustainable development, it seems that the level of effort, reform, innovation and investments needed to achieve key targets is still lacking and that we continue to fail children and the most vulnerable.
Of the world’s more than 7 billion people, 2.2 billion are children. Three quarters of these children, and growing, live in Asia and Africa. Close to 700 million of these children experience multiple life altering deprivation and face the grimmest of life situations and are at risk of unbearable harm.
This tension and the prospect of failing children calls for resolution and action by state and non-state actors and persons of conscience with a view to assuring the wellbeing of all children in our time…continue reading advocacy statement
Next week a diverse group of organisations will come together for a forum at the Jesuit Curia in Rome where they will discuss how faith leaders can work together to end violence against children on the move.
According to UNICEF more than 28 million children around the world have been forced to flee their homes because of violence and conflict, and the violence they experience is the catalyst for the Faith Action for Children on the Move; Global Partners Forum, October 16-18. Ahead of the event, the 14 organising partners said:
“As people of faith, we are in a unique position to address the rights of children on the move.
“Across different faith backgrounds we feel a call and a responsibility to protect and give a voice to these children. Our calling has compelled us to come together, review what we do well and commit to doing more.”
The issue of children on the move has never been more pressing. Between 2005 and 2015 the number of child refugees worldwide more than doubled. The forum will bring organisations together to commit to a collective action plan on how they can work together in the future to protect, nurture and support children on the move.
“Considering that the majority (84% according to the Pew Research Center) of the world’s population identifies with a religious group, people of faith can and should be acknowledged as a powerful force in the world.
“As faith-based organisations, we believe that we are stronger together, together we can reach the most vulnerable, and together we can have a greater impact on more children.
“We recognise that partnering from different beliefs and religions enhances respect for our common values and respective contributions. We condemn xenophobic and discriminatory narratives and reaffirm the need to speak up with words of solidarity, hospitality and love.”
The role of faith in three key areas affecting children on the move will be discussed by the participants at the forum:
Building peaceful societies and combating xenophobia
Strengthening the continuum of protection for children on the move
Providing spiritual support to children on the move and their caregivers, as a source of healing and resilience
“We hope to provide a way for organisations to partner in protecting children on the move and also include children in decision making and programme design processes.
“Children are the hope of humanity and must be protected and enabled to experience life in its fullness and to transform the societies in which they live.
Signed by the 14 organising partners:
International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development
Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities
The JLI Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Hub is beginning a Hub scoping study on the roles of local faith communities in Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery
We are gathering literature from academic repositories, and turn to the Hub members to fill in the gaps.
What evidence exists of local faith communities  working with victims and survivors of AHT/MS?
How do the theological reflections of local faith communities on issues of trafficking and slavery influence their approaches?
What lessons can be drawn from the ways that local faith communities approach initiatives that relate to AHT/MS?
We are interested in any examples that illustrate dynamics around religion and anti-trafficking. We invite you to:
Submit relevant materials and references. This is to ensure that we have all the main material covered. We are looking for materials that provide key insights into the ways in which religion affects anti-trafficking and modern slavery, such as the role of local faith communities in response. This can include a diverse range of documentation from the grey literature: research reports, web links, policy briefs etc.
Submit case studies. A case study is a specific example of work from your organization or one of your partner organisations (of programs or projects, etc.) that highlights the role of religion and/or local faith communities in ending trafficking and modern slavery. We will also be considering cases where LFCs may be negatively involved in trafficking.
Participate in an interview or recommend contacts for interviews *Not all case studies will be selected for interviews but please provide a contact name and email
Interviews can be in place of a case study, as specific cases can be discussed during the interview.
While we invite all contributions on topics related to religion and anti-human trafficking and modern slavery, we are particularly seeking information in the following areas.
Local/national/indigenous faith-based development or charitable organisations (i.e. local FBOs)
Local and national multi-faith-based networks
Local and national faith leaders
Note: international FBOs working on this issue, unless they are partnering with an LFC, will not be examined in this scoping study. Also, the principal focus of the JLI is local faith communities based in the global South, or in ‘developing countries’.
On October 16-19 the Faith Action for Children on the Move Global Partners Forum will be held in Rome, Italy. The Forum provides a platform to bring together a diverse group of faith-based organisations.
The co-organizers, ACT Alliance, ADRA, Anglican Alliance, Arigatou International, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities, Mennonite World Conference, Micah Global, The Salvation Army, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, World Council of Churches, World Evangelical Alliance and World Vision believe that by working together we can end violence against migrant, refugee, and displaced children and their families.
In preparation for the Forum, the co-organizers along with participating partners reviewed the evidence and approaches on how to work as faith actors. Three themes emerged which will shape the programme and the collective action plan:
Spiritual support to children and caregivers as a source of healing and resilience
Strengthening the continuum of protection for children on the move
Building peaceful societies and combating xenophobia
Learn: Compile and analyse current responses of faith communities, the programme approaches we use, best practices, policy frameworks, advocacy efforts and gaps.
Exchange: Discern, share, and build consensus among faith groups, alongside decision makers, children and communities on issues related to violence, migration, displacement, and trafficking.
Inform: Produce a publication capturing the essence of the process, key issues, and the plan of action to inform, inspire, and equip others into the future.
Plan: Plan action to increase awareness, strengthen partnerships, improve delivery, scale up interventions, and influence decision-making.
Read the Learning Briefs
We invite you to participate in the forum to bring experiences to share on the three themes, or follow along with with us virtually.
Click the link below for further information about the forum, registration, and accommodations can be found below. Please share the information with other colleagues and institutions which may be interested in participating.
Responding to this call will give states and other relevant stakeholders the opportunity to publicise their good practices, resulting in increased attention for and possible adoption of the practice in other Council of Europe member States.
The deadline for submission of good practice examples is 30 September 2018. Submissions should be sent to [email protected].
For more information, please see the call for good practices, which is available in English, French and Italian. The template is available in English only.