Submit your examples of good practices on child-friendly procedures in the migration context

The Office of the Special Representative on migration and refugees is looking for examples of good or promising practices of migration-related procedures that are child-friendly. Selected examples will be published in a compilation of good practices being prepared under the Council of Europe Action plan on protecting refugee and migrant children (2017-2019).

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 EnglishFrench and Italian. The template is available in English only.

 

See on COE website

JLI is happy to announce new board members joining the JLI Board of Directors

Catriona Dejean

Catriona Dejean is Tearfund’s Director of Strategy and Impact, and previously headed up the their Impact and Effectiveness Team. Prior to this, she was a consultant in the social enterprise sector, providing advice to UK and international clients. She has also worked for World Vision on development programmes, and at strategy level – predominantly in Latin America. She started her career in environmental consultancy in the private sector. Catriona also served as a trustee for Cafedirect Producers’ Foundation (now Producers’ Direct) – an award-winning fairtrade enterprise, led by farmers across East Africa and Latin America.

 

Christo Greyling

Rev Christo Greyling is the Senior Director for Faith – Advocacy and External Engagement for World Vision International. He was co-responsible for the development of the Channels of Hope methodology which has catalysed nearly 500,000 faith leaders in 45 countries to respond to difficult development issues such as child protection, maternal and child health, HIV and gender. He is passionate to build meaningful partnerships and collaborate with faith based agencies and faith actors to meaningfully contribute towards SDG outcomes and child well-being.

 

Mohammed Shareef

Dr Mohammed Shareef is the Research and Development Manager at the Humanitarian Academy for Development. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (London). He has previously worked for the United Nations and as a Visiting Lecturer in Politics and International Relations of the Middle East at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. He is also a former Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Sulaimani in Iraqi Kurdistan. Shareef completed his PhD in International Relations at the University of Durham and has an MSc in International Relations from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

 

Thanks and best wishes to Hiruy Teka from Samaritan’s Purse and Lucas Koach from Food for the Hungry who will be leaving the JLI Board of Directors.

 

Learn more about the JLI Leadership

The JLI Ending Violence Against Children Learning Hub is conducting an intial Hub scoping study on the roles of religion in ending violence against children (EVAC).[1]

We are finishing an evidence review of relevant academic and grey literature, and now turn to the Hub members to continue to fill in the gaps through case studies and interviews. We are interested in any examples that illustrate dynamics around religion and protecting children against violence. We invite you to participate in an interview or recommend contacts for interviews

  • Please recommend persons for interview to cover the following types of examples:
    • Examples of local faith communities (LFCs) or FBOs working to end VAC. How have LFCs utilised their assets/networks/social capital/volunteer force to plan and implement their responses to VAC? What sort of violence has been identified as their specific focus and why?
    • Examples of partnerships between local faith communities and the wider community formal or informal child protection systems. When do partnerships form and when do they not form? Are their instances of best practices for forming partnerships with local faith communities for VAC response?
    • Define how your organisation understands the terms child protection and ending violence against children as relevant to the focus of the case
    • Give a brief overview of the case study context (e.g. region, dates, principal actors, estimated numbers beneficiaries reached)
    • Give a brief overview of the program/project/organisation/partnership that is the focus of the case study
    • Review the opportunities and challenges of local faith community work/partnerships in VAC response in this case
    • Give evidence of good practices and offer recommendations

 

 

While we invite all contributions on topics related to religion and protecting children against violence, we are particularly seeking information in areas that are gaps in the literature. The list below shows areas where we lack information and seek input through case studies. Please consider the points in the final section and whether you have an example that might illustrate the role of religion in these areas. An initial coding of the broad themes represented in the literature on religion and VAC shows the following:

Table – Literature Gaps – JLI EVAC Scoping  

Areas that are not well documented: 

  • Local Faith Communities Specific Contributions 
  • Global South: Religious-based Perpetuation 
  • FBOs (formal and informal) Engagement with Child Protection Systems 
  • Non-Christian Faiths & Traditional Beliefs 
  • N. Africa, Latin America, MENA, South, SE and East Asia 
  • Boys & Adolescents
  • EVAC Champions/Networks in communities 
  • Child Labour/Exploitation 
  • Family-Based VAC
  • Survivor Support: Other than trauma counseling 
  • Forced Migration, Deportation & Asylum 
  • Orphans, Unaccompanied Children, IDPs/Refugees 
  • LGBTI & Persons with Mobility Limitations 

 

Areas that are relatively well documented: 

  • Advocacy & Education Initiatives by I/NGOs (International Non-governmental Organizations)
  • Awareness Raising Among Local Communities as target groups in I/NGO programmes   
  • Girls Specific 
  • Early Marriage 
  • SGBV Generally 
  • School-Based Punishment 
  • Child Combatant Rehabilitation  
  • Trafficking/Sexual Exploitation 
  • Islam (some) 
  • MENA (regarding refugees only) 

 

Areas that are very well documented: 

  • Christianity
  • INGO work 
  • North America (US & Canada)  
  • Sub-Saharan Africa 
  • Domestic Abuse Prevention & Response (US) 
  • Violence Against Women as Priority Content 
  • Survivor Support: Counseling & Psychosocial 
  • Religious-Based Sexual Abuse (US & Ireland) 
  • Corporal Punishment 
  • Children’s Voices on EVAC 
  • Joint Interfaith Advocacy Networks

 

[1] The full study outline can be found here: https://evac.jliflc.com/resources/evac-hub-scoping-proposal/

Religion and FBO inputs to the Global Compacts: recent meetings at the UN

A meeting at the UN hosted by the  Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations and Caritas brought together global religious leaders who called the world to share the journey with migrants and refugees. Watch the full event here

 

As part of a series of related events UNICEF, NGO Committee on UNICEF and Caritas Internationalis co-organized a side event on Interfaith Responses to the Rights of Refugee and Migrant Children and their Families.

 

A panel moderated by Ame Esangbedo of SOS Childrens’ Villages, of speakers including representatives from Lutheran World Federation, Islamic Relief, Religions for Peace and JLI discussed key issues from a religious and FBO perspective, including solutions and challenges around addressing the needs of refugee and migrant children and their families with a focus on keeping families together, provision of services and combatting xenophobia.

JLI panel presentation (click for presentation) focused on evidence and ongoing research relating to Faith-based responses to Children’s Rights and Migration.

 

Other events covered:

The Center for Faith and the Common Good (CFCG) is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation’s Program on Religion in International Affairs, to be carried out by The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI). The project, titled “Religion, Refugees, and Forced Migration: Making Research-informed Impact in Global Policy Processes” will be in collaboration with Dr. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh at University College London and with the support of Atallah Fitzgibbon at Islamic Relief Worldwide, the co-chairs of the JLI Refugees and Forced Migration Learning Hub. Dr. Olivia Wilkinson, JLI Director of Research, will oversee the work focused on the translation of research for impact on policy and practice.

Project activities included the production of a policy brief and a Resource Brief that synchronize existing research on faith and refugees with the three main themes of the programme of action for the Global Compact on Refugees (reception and admission, meeting needs and supporting communities, durable solutions). Other activities focused on outreach through newspaper articles (Opinion: Faith organizations are key in global refugee response), infographics, press releases, and social media messaging. These research translation activities will coincide with the final stages of the development and the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees. They will help to inform new audiences in the humanitarian and development field of the existing and growing evidence base on religious belief, practice, and faith-based work related to refugees.

To ensure that these activities reach the right people, the researchers will also undertake a mapping exercise of key influencers and then arrange a series of consultations and briefings to reach out to specific groups in global hubs of decision making and activity on refugee response. Briefings were coordinated on local humanitarian leadership and refugee response in Amman and Beirut.

 

For more information please contact the Joint Learning Initiative’s Director of Research, Dr. Olivia Wilkinson at [email protected].

 

Progress

 

 

 

 

See Police Brief and Resource Brief

JLI Webinar: Marking the Global Compact. See video recap here

 

The Global Cause Partnerships (GCP) Team is a dynamic and growing team responsible for building partnerships with organizations committed to fundraising and advocating in support of the world’s most vulnerable children. Partners include service and faith-based organizations, diaspora communities, professional and trade associations and other 501(c)(3) organizations.

 

Reporting to the Senior Director, Global Cause Partnerships, the Manager will identify, manage and grow fundraising partnerships between UNICEF USA and civil society partners, with a focus on faith-based organizations. UNICEF USA recognizes the shared commitment with these groups to ensuring the survival and well-being of the world’s children, and the Manager will develop strategies to build trusting and long-lasting relationships with these constituencies. The Manager will be responsible for developing new and stewarding existing partnerships within this portfolio to meet fundraising and engagement goals in support of UNICEF’s global work.

 

This is a three-year grant-funded position.

For full position description see here

Good Practices with Local Faith Communities Submission

DEADLINE EXTENDED, 30th April 2018

The JLI Refugee Hub is working alongside UNHCR to undertake an analysis of Good Practice Examples of Local Faith Community Responses to Refugees as part of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and Global Compact on Refugees processes.

The first stage of the research will identify and examine one or more examples of good practice in each of 7 case study countries:

Honduras, Mexico, Central African Republic, Uganda, Lebanon, Germany, and Bangladesh.

The good practice case studies will be communicated to UNHCR. We will also be working with local researchers to conduct up to 30 interviews with refugees, hosts, and faith leaders in each country to provide evidence from primary research on the good practice case studies. In order to identify good practice case studies, we invite you to submit for consideration good practice examples and recommended interviewees from the 7 countries.

The form will ask you to provide some brief information on the case as well as interview recommendations in the country. The initial findings will be presented at the UNHCR NGO consultations at the end of June.

Please complete the form by COB Eastern Standard Time on the 30th April 2018.

We hope to invite key religious leaders from the case study countries to the events in late June/early July. Please add suggestions to the interview recommendations on the form, identifying them as a religious leader.

We would be grateful if you could circulate this invitation to your colleagues and networks in or with knowledge of the 7 countries.

Again, the link to the form

We will be in touch again in due course to provide further information about the next stage in this 18-month action-research project. This will include capacity building and training elements.

With many thanks and all best wishes,

Dr. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh                             Atallah Fitzgibbon
University College London                               Islamic Relief Worldwide

JLI Refugee Hub Co-chairs

Event Date

Monday 12 March

  • Women of Faith Speaking to Structural Change: Empowering Rural Women
    Temple of Understanding (Armenian Convention Center, Guild Hall)
  • Empowerment Stories and Interfaith Actions, United Religions Initiative (URI) (Armenian Convention Center, Guild Hall)

Tuesday 13 March

Wednesday 14 March

  • Faith and Feminism: Voices of Affirmation National Public Radio (NPR) Interview with Randy Cohen – Person, Place (Must RSVP)
  • 8:30 am: Frontline Leadership: Rural Women in the Anti-Fracking Movement, Mining Working Group (Salvation Army,  221 E. 52nd Street)

Thursday 15 March

Friday 16, March

  • 10am: Launching the Global Consultation on the Islamic Gender Justice Declaration, Islamic Relief Worldwide (RSVP Required)
  • 12:15pm: Policy Roundtable of the Faith-Based Community of Praxis on Gender Justice, ACT Alliance (Invite only)
  • 6pm: 4th Annual CSW Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Gratitude, . Sponsored by United
    Methodist Women, NGO CSW, URI, Parliament of the World’s Religions, Temple of Understanding, International Federation of Women in Legal Careers (Church Center for the
    United Nations, Tillman Chapel 44th St and 1st Ave)

Monday 19, March

  • 10am: Building Bridges: developing effective partnerships between faith and secular actors to
    challenge discriminatory gender norms and secure rural women’s rights. Co-sponsors: Danish Mission, ACT Alliance, UNFPA (Ex-Press Bar, UN Secretariat (Entrance on East 46th street
    and 1st Avenue)

    • Presentation from JLI GBV Hub
  • 2:30pm: Human Trafficking in America– Risks for women and girls in rural areas and collaborative prevention by Faith-Based Communities, UNICEF USA, Arigatou International, NY Board of Rabbis (Salvation Army  221 E. 52nd Street)

Wednesday 21, March

 

Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs: Perspectives on Migration

On 22nd January 2018, the Fourth Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs was held at the UN Secretariat in New York. The full-day event was organized by ACT Alliance, the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, and the World Council of Churches. Co-sponsors were the Adventist Relief and Development Agency (ADRA), the Parliament of World Religions, and the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect on behalf of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Engagement with Faith-based Organizations. The focus of this year’s symposium was “Perspective on Migration: Displacement and Marginalization, Inclusion and Justice.”

Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed. Ms. Mohammed opened the event and reported that this was an issue close to the Secretary General’s heart. She acknowledged the ways in which faith-based organizations can bring both their extensive experience and moral voice to the work of providing for displaced people. Other speakers included many JLI member organizations, such as Rev. Dr. Olav Fyske Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Church and Mr. Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, General Secretary of the ACT Alliance.

Jonathan Duffy, JLI Board co-chair and President of ADRA spoke in the afternoon session on “Development, Humanitarianism, and Human Rights.” In his speech, he highlighted the work of the JLI in convening on evidence related to religion and refugees and mentioned the new scoping study on this topic. Dr. Olivia Wilkinson, JLI Director of Research, attended the event and spoke to attendees about the scoping study.

 

Repost from Refugee Hosts 

Efforts to bring local faith actors (LFAs) into the wider humanitarian apparatus have been a key aim of the localisation of aid agenda. In this piece, Olivia Wilkinson (Director of Research of Refugee Hosts’ research partner, the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities) argues that there is a need to ensure that such engagements provide space for LFAs to remain faith actors, while also aligning them with international humanitarian principles. This requires us to reflect on the histories and values underpinning humanitarian principles, as well as the agency, complexity and nuance of local faith actors and refugees. For suggested readings on this theme, see the reading list at the end of this article, as well as our ongoing series, Contextualising the Localisation of Aid Agenda, for more. 

When Local Faith Actors Meet Localisation: Understanding the Space between the International and the Local in relation to Humanitarian Principles and Religion

By Olivia Wilkinson, Trinity College Dublin and JLI Director of Research 

In late 2016, the Joint Learning Initiative’s Refugee and Forced Migration Learning Hub -a Hub co-chaired by Refugee Hosts’ PI, Dr. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Islamic Relief’s Sadia Kidwai – began scoping out what is known about the place of religion in refugee response. The overarching project was split into two studies: the first analysing religion and refugees in regards to localisation and urbanisation, in recognition that refugees increasingly live outside camp settings and that local faith actors (LFAs) are active in aiding refugees in urban settings; and the second to examine the stages and spaces of refugee experience in relation to religion, to understand the moments at which religion and religious actors play a role in the trajectory of refugee journeys and the places in which these interactions happen. The first part of the scoping study was launched in October 2017 at the “Localizing Humanitarian Response Forum: The Role of Religious and Faith-Based Organizations” in Sri Lanka, which Estella Carpi wrote about in an earlier post in this series. The second part of the study will be launched towards the end of this year.

Echoing Estella’s post, in addition to other pieces published on Refugee Hosts (herehere and here), the study speaks to the opportunities and challenges of engaging with local religious actors in refugee response. The state of the art literature review and the interviews with key experts that underpinned the study found that religion adds immediate complexity to the localisation debate, often in ways that can be controversial and are therefore sidelined. While we found a multitude of ways in which local religious actors provide services for refugees, it is a struggle to find mention of these actors in any of the main documents tied to the localisation of aid (see page 14 of the report for some examples). While the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) includes faith-based organisations (FBOs) as stakeholders, the specificities of LFAs in their different contexts requires detailed analysis that is not included in the use of the broad-brush term, “FBO”.

The challenges faced in engaging local faith actors in refugee response are not new just because localisation is the current buzzword. The reasons why LFAs are not more involved in international humanitarian response for refugees have always been the same: religious actors can be party to the conflicts that drive forced migration; they can be partial in their assistance, prioritizing those of the same faith and overlooking those of other faiths; they can enforce cultural and gendered stereotypes; they proselytize, using their assistance to convert vulnerable people to their religion; and they are overburdened and lack the capacity to comply with humanitarian standards. Some of these points are common to other local actors as they are politically and socially embedded and equally lacking in capacity to keep up with the demands of international humanitarian donors.

Yet LFAs continue to respond to refugees around the world, including in urban environments. If we are to believe in the earnestness of the call to localise from the international humanitarian community, then this must naturally include LFAs. To be involved in localisation, LFAs must overcome, and international actors must equally find ways to overcome, these barriers so that equal partnerships can develop.

From the research, there were several examples of ways in which these challenges were encountered, yet had been, to greater and lesser extents, overcome. To dive in the deep end, it is often held that for LFAs to be fully inducted into the international humanitarian community, they must not proselytise their faith. This standard is of course crucial, allowing humanitarian actors to ensure that assistance is given freely and without conditions.

The literature paints a more nuanced picture however. First, it is often dangerous, or highly disadvantageous to convert. In research from Kaoues in Lebanon, it was found that Muslim converts to Christianity were doubly rejected, both from the Muslim refugee population of which they had previously been part, and the Lebanese Christians in their new religious community. This demonstrates that in many cases the short-term material benefits linked to conversion are soon outweighed by the social disadvantages. In particular, this example shows the important need to recognise the intersections of ‘minority’ and ‘majority’, and how this is ‘read’ and ‘ascribed’ by observers on the basis of ethnicity and other identity markers.

Second, local religious leaders are not necessarily playing a short-term numbers game to gain converts, but aiming to build prolonged relationships within their broader community. In comparison to short term missionary trips from various external countries, local religious leaders embedded in communities do not want to pressure people to convert through their assistance, as noted by research from Kraft, also in Lebanon.

Finally, as Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh has pointed out in much of her research, the agency of beneficiaries has been overlooked. In the Sahrawi refugee camps (in Southwest Algeria), she found that refugees’  political representatives, “mobilized religiously-related claims to maximize diverse short- and long-term benefits both inside and outside the camps,” accessing both material resources and the political support provided by Evangelical American actors in the camps and in the USA.

While this demonstrates a need to recognise the complexity of proselytisation and the nuances of the contexts in which it takes place, it does not do away with the fundamental concern of faith actors tying their assistance to conversion. Most of our interviewees reported having seen or heard about such practices. However, interviewees also explained the ways in which they had still managed to successfully partner with LFAs who had initially included types of proselytisation in their assistance. One interviewee described a negotiation with a local faith actor in which they held a meeting with refugees about their religion, but only after all distributions had been made so that attendance was a choice and not tied to assistance. In their opinion, the method maintained dignity on both sides, recognising that the refugees and local faith community involved in distribution were able to uphold their identities without compromising the distribution. This was a one-off solution, but in another example from the Lebanese Society for Education and Social Development (LSESD), they conducted training on humanitarian principles for LFAs. They reported some initial missteps in explaining the concepts behind the humanitarian principles to LFAs and described how they had learned that specific examples were more effective than providing an abstract description of concepts such as impartiality and neutrality.

On one hand, there is the fear that LFAs will be “NGO-ised” through the localization agenda, to the point that they lose any identity as faith actors, becoming instrumentalised sub-contractors for international humanitarian organisations instead.

On the other hand, there are sensitive ways to conduct trainings that allow organisations to remain faith actors, while also aligning them with international humanitarian principles. This element of complexity in engagement with LFAs shows that international humanitarian organisations must be committed to capacity building in humanitarian principles, standards, and compliance with LFAs, while recognising the agency of refugees and LFAs to interact around and about their faiths, without assuming it is proselytization.

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Featured Image: Baddawi refugee camp in North Lebanon has been hosting refugees from Syria since the outbreak of the conflict. The Masjid al-Quds mosque – in the background – is at the geographical and metaphorical core of the camp. Masjid al-Quds overlooks the cemetery, the camp’s ultimate shared space in life and death for new and established refugees alike. (c) E. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 

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For more readings on the themes explored in this piece

click here for the Refugee Hosts Faith and Displacement series, here for other contributions to our Refugee Hosts ‘Contextualising the Localisation of Aid‘ blog series

Recommended readings: