The Sixth annual G20 Interfaith Forum took place in Tokyo Japan with about 300 religious leaders, FBOs, academics and others gathered from around the world.
Katherine Marshall, World Faiths Development Dialogue and Cole Durhan, Brigham Young University under the patronage of Dr Haruhisa Handa organized the conference.
The goal of the Forum was to discuss global issues through the lens of faith. Attendees also aimed to develop recommendations from the faith community to the G20 meeting in Osaka.
This year’s themes were People, Planet Peace: Pathways Forward
Jean Duff represented JLI and made contributions to two working sessions and to the closing Plenary “Towards 2020”. At the People session on Every Child has a Right to a Childhood, JLI announced the launch of the EVAC Hub’s new three-part Scoping Report and presented recommendations for the G20 Summit. At the Peace session on “New Ways to Serve and Integrate Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Communities,” JLI presented recommendations for the G20 Summit relating to the importance of the Global Compact on Refugees and the role of local faith actors in implementing it. Also, JLI contributed to the policy briefs from the two sessions.
The diversity of origins and traditions which make humanity unique are being targeted by intolerance, sometimes by brutal violence, and refugees are often on the front line of this assault. Reinforcing the traditional role of faith communities in offering sanctuary to refugees, more than 25 faith-based actors express their further commitment to upholding the dignity of refugees through offering effective protection, access to social services and fulfilment of human rights and enhancing peacebuilding efforts. Based on their religious teachings, as well as on the experience that some of their communities have of being targeted themselves, faith-based actors seek to address xenophobia as one of their special responsibilities.
The Global Compact on Refugees specifically recognizes the contribution and long-standing experience of faith-based actors in supporting refugees and will highlight these contributions at the Global Refugee Forum. Whether supporting refugees, including children, on their journey to safety including in reception and admission, meeting protection or service delivery needs and supporting communities to find solutions such as private sponsorship programmes, faith-based actors are committed to working alongside states and the rest of the global humanitarian community to deliver the promise of the Global Compact on Refugees.
This statement is supported by:
Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)
American Jewish World Service
Church World Service
Food for the Hungry
HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society)
International Catholic Migration Commission
Islamic Relief Worldwide
Jesuit Refugee Service
Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities
JLI, in its role as a PaRD Knowledge Partner, attended the PaRD General Assembly of Members in Copenhagen to report to the PaRD workstreams on study progress as well as share JLI Hub and Project work.
JLI is currently supporting evidence building for the workstreams on Health – SDG 3, Gender Equality and Empowerment – SDG 5, and Sustaining Peace – SDG 16. JLI Research Advisor, Susanna Trotta, President, Jean Duff and Senior Programs and Knowledge Manager, Stacy Nam attended and reported to the workstreams in parallel sessions. Members agreed to start new working groups in capacity building and Environment, Water and Climate Action. JLI looks forward to aligning the JLI climate webinars and evidence building with the working group.
Jean Duff, JLI President, reporting on JLI-PaRD Workstream Studies in plenary on May 2
JLI presented in the open sessions on both days on three themes:
The University of Leeds is looking for contributors to a new and exciting handbook on the topic of Religion, Gender and Society. Underpinning the volume, is an awareness that it is impossible for scholars, activists and policy makers to understand and explain contemporary societies and to contribute towards positive social change unless attention is paid to the role that religion plays in shaping gender identities. This handbook will provide a survey of the current state of research on religions, gender and society. Its aim will be to make a major contribution to the research agenda for the next 5-7 years, to redefine existing areas within the context of international research, and to highlight emerging and cutting edge areas.
If you are interesting in being considered, please send a short abstract/chapter outline to Dr Caroline Starkey ([email protected]) by Monday 1st April 2019. Final chapters will be due in autumn/winter 2019, with publication planned for mid-2020.
By Olivia Wilkinson and Susanna Trotta on the Georgetown University Berkley Center blog
This blog post highlights Education and Refugee Response from the JLIFLC policy brief on the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees with faith actors.
“In the Global Compact on Refugees’ program of action, education falls within a section on meeting needs and supporting communities. The main provision within the compact is for the support of national education systems, which in many cases will include schools that are run by faith-based institutions and operating within national laws and policies. However, refugee children can struggle to gain places (especially in over-burdened systems) and integrate into new education systems. Issues related to which curricula to follow and to accreditation between home, host, and destination curricula have caused problems. Instead, children on the move may seek non-formal education opportunities, which can also be run by faith actors, such as sessions in religious buildings with provisions funded by the faith community.”
New Knowledge Partnership between Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) and the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD)
On October 27, 2018, JLI and PaRD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at JLI’s Annual Board Meeting. Jonathan Duffy, JLI Board Chair and Jean Duff, JLI President and Thomas Lawo, PaRD Secretariat Coordinator signed for their respective organizations. The PaRD Steering Group ratified the MOU at its meeting in Toronto in November 2018.
The JLI and PaRD seek full and appropriate engagement of the capacities of faith-based and religious groups in the achievement of the SDGs through effective partnerships with public sector and secular entities, as well as among religious groups themselves. JLI brings knowledge partner capacities, a proven track record in preparing evidence reports, briefs, calls to action, conference programs, peer-reviewed article, and journals. PaRD focuses on joint activities in its three areas of engagement knowledge exchange, capacity building, and joint advocacy.
JLI evidence support to PaRD’s three work-streams in 2019:
SDG 3 Health with a focus on faith and adolescent sexual and reproductive health,
The Role of Local Faith Actors In Implementing The Global Compact On Refugees
February 18, 2019
On February 18th, local and regional and international actors from all sectors met in Amman, Jordan for a half-day seminar. The meeting attendees included government agencies, think tanks, community-based and humanitarian organizations including faith-based organizations. The Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization, World Vision International, Anglican Communion, Muslim Aid, Middle East Council of Churches, Caritas Jordan, ICMC, Syria Relief, Tearfund and Mennonite Central Committee were among the organizations represented.
The seminar facilitated discussion on opportunities for increased engagement with local faith actors, examples of current programs and recommendations for better policies and practice to address refugee response in the region.
Seminar Goal: To continue and strengthen partnerships and programs to implement the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) by sharing and discussing the critical ways of faith actors respond to refugees and forced migration.
Attendees and speakers at LHL Amman Seminar
Mr. Mohammed Kilani, Secretary General Deputy, Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization – Welcome
Douglas DiSalvo, Senior Protection Officer, UNHCR – Faith and Protection: partnering with religious and FBOS to implement the Global Compact on Refugees
Dr. Zakaria Al Sheikh, Trustee and Country Director, Al-Imdaad International (Jordan) – The religious imperative to care for the stranger—examples from Jordan.
Jean Duff, President, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities – Roles of faith actors in implementing the Global Compact on Refugees
Amanda Rives, Regional Policy and Advocacy Director, Middle East and Eastern Europe Region, External Engagement Sr. Advisor, Child Protection & Participation, World Vision International chaired a panel on local faith refugee response with:
Fr Mihai Pavel Director Faith and Development Middle East Region, World Vision International
Inshirah Mousa – Director of JSR
Dr. Kawas, Middle East Council of Churches
Sheikh Zayed Hammad, President, Kitab wa Sunneh
Amanda Rives and Marwan Al Hennawi, JHCO chaired the final Q&A Session
Co-hosts and Speakers at the LHL Amman Seminar
Key points discussed by the speakers, panels and participants:
The Facts about Local Faith Actors’ care for refugees on the move and in place
The possibility for significant engagement of local faith actors can have much greater depth and scope. This is seen by the many examples and ways local faith actors help refugees throughout their journey around the world. There are still many unmet possibilities for better ways to care for refugees from local actors, including local faith actors.
“Faith can play a key role in refugees’ experiences and rebuilding their lives. Stakeholders should help make connections with local faith leaders and facilitate spiritual support across all stages and places if desired by refugees. “ –Jean Duff, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities
2. Better ways to work collaborate better together across sectors
The attendees discussed recommendations for joint burden and responsibility sharing and the areas of support (Reception and Admission, Meeting Needs, and Supporting Communities), and solutions. These are based on JLI’s analysis of faith actors’ strengths and weaknesses, the current examples of programs, and ways to better work across sectors together for a joint response.
“Refugees often find comfort in being able to continue their prayer and religious duties. Faith sensitive providers like JHCO can help link refugees with faith leaders and place of worship and provide psychosocial support.” -Ayman Al Mufleh, Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization
Co-Hosts: The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities, the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization, World Vision, and the UN Interagency Task Force on Religion and Development
This event is part of a larger series of dynamic events on the intersection of faith actors and the Global Compact on Refugees. Other events will be held in Beirut, Brussels and Geneva funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Read more about JLI’s research on the roles of local faith actors and the Global Compact on Refugees. Brief available in English and Arabic.
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.