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.

 

 

Further project activities will continue in 2019 focusing on developing training and online modules for piloting to raise awareness between local faith actors and international partners.

For more information see the JLI UNHCR project  or contact Dr. Olivia Wilkinson at [email protected]

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.
  • See Policy brief funded by the Luce Foundation for case studies and recommondations.

Learning exchange on Faith and GCR

  • Emily Wei, Catholic Relief Services
  • Atallah FitzGibbon, Islamic Relief Worldwide
  • Dr Katherine Marshall, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs & World Faiths Development Dialogue
    • Presented three initiatives in research and policy in refugee issues
    • Research on critical areas in refugee issues in conflict countires ex. Nigeria
    • Host Country research in Kenya and third country resettlement countries ex. US: Diaspora communities and religion with Pluralism Project
    • Presented a two-year project supported by Georgetown University’s Board of Regents
      • various case studies underway currently for example in the northern triangle countries and reception in the US
      • Need to understand better specific facets of religious approaches, including links to conflicts spurring migration and refugee flows
      • Mapping of purposeful interventions, learning lessons from good and bad practice
      • Need to understand better specific facets of religious approaches, including links to conflicts spurring migration and refugee flows
      • Mapping of purposeful interventions, learning lessons from good and bad practice
      • See Berkley Center refugee site
    • G20 Recommenations
  • Giulia McPherson, Jesuit Refugee Service
    • Presented JRS Advocacy Efforts and
    • Key Messages:
      • Accompany all vulnerable people on the move and to provide for their basic needs.
      • Invest in medium- and long-term development approaches to the humanitarian needs of forcibly displaced persons.
      • Invest in economic and infrastructure growth within host communities.
      • Share the financial burden and other costs among all countries.
  • Christo Greyling, World Vision International
  • 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

Closing remarks and Wrap Up

Join the JLI Refugee Hub for continued joint learning

Related Resources:

Read the Policy Brief

 

 

 

 

 

Accompanying Resource Brief

Presentation PowerPoint

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the supporting ‘Resource Brief’ that provides a reading list of articles related to faith, refugees, and the Global Compact

Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development: Religious contributions for a dignified future

26-28 September, 2018

Buenos Aires

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.

 

So what did the Forum accomplish?

Introduction to religious diversity and tolerance of Buenos Aires, the “City of Interreligious Dialogue” and “City of Encounter”, supported by a 20 person municipal Office of Religious Affairs under the direction of Frederico Pugliese.

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).

Summary report now available here

For more information please review 2018 G20 Interfaith Forum Program, as well as a news article from Utah’s Deseret News: G20 Interfaith Forum

Forum Website

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[1]

We are gathering literature from academic repositories, and turn to the Hub members to fill in the gaps.

Key questions:

  • What evidence exists of local faith communities [2] 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.

  • Sex trafficking
  • Organ and body parts Trafficking
  • Labour Trafficking –land
  • Labour trafficking – maritime
  • Domestic servitude
  • Children (soldiers or child marriage)
  • LGBT communities

[1] The full study outline can be found here

[2] Defining local faith communities:

  • Congregations, mosques and temples, etc.
  • 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’.

Global Partners Forum

October 16th-19th

 

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

Forum Goals

  • 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

Learning Brief: Continuum of Protection for Children          Learning Brief: Spiritual Support          Learning Brief: The role of faith in building peaceful societies and combating xenophobia

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.

 

 

To see the Children on the Move resource platform here

*please feel free to upload & send additional resources as well

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: