We are happy to announce the publication of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities (JLI) Ending Violence Against Children Hub (EVAC Hub) three-part scoping study. The EVAC Hub began the scoping study in 2018 to better understand the role of religion and faith actors in protecting children against violence. Dr Carola Eyber at Queen Margaret University (QMU) led the scoping study with Dr Selina Palm at Stellenbosch University, Kathleen Rutledge at QMU, and Francisco Colombo under the guidance of Dr Olivia Wilkinson at JLI.
Thanks also to the JLI EVAC Hub co-chairs- Rebeca Rios-Kohn, Arigatou International, Neelam Fida, Islamic Relief Worldwide and Robyn Hagan, World Vision International. The study would also like to acknowledge the numerous hub members who contributed resources, case studies and interview suggestions.
The scoping study focused on two areas:
Firstly, the unique contributions of faith communities to ending as well as contributing to violence against children. Secondly, the role of faith actors in influencing and supporting the wider community and formal and informal child protection systems.
The scoping study had three components: an extensive literature review, a case study submission
process for hub members to share practice-based models and a consultation stage with experts through interviews. The study covered all regions and faiths.
Join the JLI Hub as a member to hear about the launch of the scoping study and soon to be release policy briefs on positive contributions of faith communities and faith engagement mechanisms to ending violence against children, and critical issues facing faith communities.
Click below to read the different parts of the scoping study.
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.”
The World Council of Churches (WCC) posted the following News article:
21 February 2019
In remarks during a workshop on HIV among migrants and refugees, UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé spoke of the challenge of HIV in what has become a rapidly changing and very unpredictable world.
“We believe you will never be able to reach people when you are born privileged,” Sidibé reflected. “Your job is to cross the road and reach people who are not privileged. What we need are bridges connecting us all to reach other.”
The workshop was organized on 20-21 February by UNAIDS, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Catholic Migration Commission.
“We are living in a rapidly changing and unpredictable world,” said Sidibé. “From my country of Mali to Eastern Europe to South America, the right to health and the right to education is not being upheld in conflict-affected settings.”
We simply cannot think of the challenge of HIV in isolation, he continued. “We need to understand the bigger picture, and the role of faith-based organizations is very critical.”
As more and more people are on the move, faith-based organizations are critical in ensuring people have access to healthcare, said Sidibé, because faith-based groups reach people at the grassroots and know what people are facing in their daily lives.
“We are facing massive political upheaval everywhere, and a lack of economic opportunity for young people, mixed with democratic fatigue,” he said. “We have a divide today and it is a lack of trust, and if people don’t have jobs, they don’t have hope.”
HIV is linked to inequality and to lack of opportunity, Sidibé noted. “What I’m seeing as the biggest problem is social inequality. If you have a breakdown, what will happen is that people will not stay there.”
With 68 million people forced from their homes across the world due to violence, war and conflict, in many places the bulk of health services are being provided by faith-based organizations. “What is happening to people on the move? They are becoming victims of violence, and we really need to understand that. We need to think in a more integrated and practical way.”
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 joint activities in its three areas of engagement knowledge exchange, capacity building, and joint advocacy.
JLI will provide evidence support to PaRD’s three work streams:
SDG 3 Health with a focus on faith and adolescent sexual and reproductive health,
SDG 5 Gender Equality and Empowerment with a focus on the role of faith-based partnerships in preventing and addressing gender-based violence and
SDG 16 Sustaining Peace with a focus on effective peacebuilding
The studies and evidence briefs will be co-designed and will draw upon PaRD and JLI members’ information and experiences, which will, in turn, inform joint research and advocacy agendas. Each of the three workstreams will present preliminary reports for discussion during the PaRD annual meeting on May 2 and 3 in Copenhagen.
Please visit www.pard.international and read more on PaRD and its members’ activities! Read about the JLI’s work through learning hubs and partnerships at jliflc.com.
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.
Migration and Society is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal advancing debate about emergent trends in all types of migration. The journal publishes work that situates migration in a wider historical and societal context, including attention to experiences and representations of migration, critical theoretical perspectives on migration, and the social, cultural, and legal embeddedness of migration. Global in its scope, we particularly encourage scholarship from and about the global South as well as the North.
Issue 3 of Migration and Society (to be published in early 2020) will be dedicated to critical explorations of migration from and through the vantage point of Southern, decolonial, anticolonial and postcolonial theories and methodologies. The issue will focus on theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of historical and contemporary processes of migration within, across, and between what can be conceptualized as ‘the Global South’.
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
Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development: Religious contributions for a dignified future
26-28 September, 2018
About 300 interfaith experts gathered for 3 packed days of exchange in preparation for the G20 Summit to be hosted at the end of November in Buenos Aires. The Argentine government, religion, academia and NGOs were well represented, led by VP Gabriela Michetti. The Forum was funded by International Shinto Foundation, Brigham Young University, Islamic Relief USA, KAICIID and others, and organized by Katherine Marshall, Cole Durham BYU, Juan Navarro Floria, Argentine National Peace and Justice Commission, Brian Adams Griffith University, and Christina Calvo , University of Buenos Aires, to name a few of the principals.
The topics on the program were diverse, reflecting in part the G20 agenda: Decent Work, Human trafficking, Refugees and Migration , Children, Climate Change ,Hunger, Governance and Corruption, Religion and Violence. Freedom of Religion was a strong topic, with large representation of experts from that area of work. An excellent extended session was on Ethics and Economics featuring Rowan Williams, Christina Calvo, Co-Chair High level Dialogue on Ethics Economics, and Augusto Zampini, Dicastery for Integral Human Development, Humberto Shikiya from CREAS ACT Alliance, and Amanda Mukwashi new Christian Aid CEO. JLI was honored to be an invited guest, and contributed to the panel on Modern Exodus- Refugees and Migration, drawing on the RFM Learning Hub’s new policy brief on Faith Actors and the implementation of the Global Compact.
Excellent interfaith community building and learning exchange among international participants, especially providing connections to diverse voices from all over Latin America.
A helpful opportunity for discourse across the ubiquitous divide between religious freedom experts and the development and humanitarian ‘worlds’
Plans were shaped for the next G20 Interfaith Forums in Japan 2019 and Saudi Arabia 2020 , with a likely continuing focus on Climate Change, Children and Humanitarian issues.
However: the message and messengers for inputs to the G20 process were still uncertain at the conclusion of the Forum. A Summary containing specific recommendations on selected themes is being prepared for submission to the G20 by the organizers—thanks to Katherine Marshall and others for this big job! JLI has provided for inclusion a series of recommendations regarding refugees, drawn from its new policy brief (to be released publically shortly).
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’.