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 (LINK) 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).

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

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:

Religious and Faith-based Contributions to the Well-being of Children

The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) is pleased to announce the initiation of a partnership with UNICEF over the next three years. The project, titled “Faith for Social and Behaviour Change Initiative” is a collaboration with the UNICEF Communication for Development in Programme Division and the Civil Society Partnerships Unit in the Division of Communication. The research aims to generate knowledge on the specific roles, caveats, effective strategies and demonstrated impact of faith-based organizations in social and behaviour change. The project will look across sectors including health, development, protection and empowerment of children, especially focusing on the most marginalized, across the life-cycle.

Project activities in 2018 will include a literature review, country-specific case studies, content review, and mapping culminating in the translation of this evidence into a conceptual framework and models for systematic engagement with FBOs at scale for social and behavior change. The partners will collaborate with Religions for Peace to hold a multi-country consultation in Bangkok in July to input into the programmatic framework.

Dr. Olivia Wilkinson, JLI Director of Research, will oversee the research work focused on evidence generation, development of programming frameworks, and provision of technical support for engagement of FBOs in social and behavior change communications. Jean Duff, JLI Coordinator will provide guidance on the conceptual framework for scaling up collaboration with the faith community for impact on the well-being of children. Stacy Nam, JLI Knowledge Manager, will support the research and promote collaboration with relevant JLI Learning Hubs and facilitate a “whole of JLI network” engagement in this project.

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

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 will include the production of policy guidelines and annotated bibliographies 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 will focus on outreach through newspaper articles, podcast episodes, infographics, press releases, media packs, and social media messaging. 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 are planned in New York around the General Assembly in September as well as in Geneva, and Beirut or Amman.
These research translation activities will coincide with the final stages of the development and then 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.
For more information please contact the Joint Learning Initiative’s Director of Research, Dr. Olivia Wilkinson at [email protected].

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