The Role of Local Faith Actors In Implementing The Global Compact On Refugees

February 18, 2019

Amman, Jordan

 

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

Attendees and speakers at LHL Amman Seminar

 

Speakers included:

  • 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

Co-hosts and Speakers at the LHL Amman Seminar

Key points discussed by the speakers, panels and participants:

  1. 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other news:

Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization release in the Jordan Times

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accompanying Resource Brief

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’.

Submissions are welcome for consideration.

The deadline for submissions is 15 May 2019.

Contact Information:

Mette Louise Berg ([email protected])
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh ([email protected])
Johanna Waters ([email protected])

 

View full details of the Call for Submissions

More information on Submissions: http://ojs.berghahnjournals.com/index.php/air-ms
For more information about the journal, including the style guide, visit www.berghahnjournals.com/migration-and-society

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) is pleased to announce a research collaboration “Bridging the Gap: The role of local faith actors in humanitarian response,” funded by the Belgian Government for Development Cooperation.

This new 12-month project (1/10/18 – 30/09/19) in South Sudan is a partnership with Tearfund Belgium, Tearfund United Kingdom, Islamic Relief Worldwide, RedR UK, and the University of Leeds.

The project aims to bridge the gap in localization dialogues to find practical ways of working through workshops of faith actors and non-faith actors in first line humanitarian response. The collaboration seeks to increase understanding, trust, coordination, and collaboration between partners and  knowledge on localization processes. The project will first look at partnership models and map actors involved in humanitarian assistance in South Sudan.

The remaining program focuses on capacity and skills building for local faith actors with ongoing coaching and networking, and opportunities for local partner grants. The project will then address knowledge and awareness of local faith actors in the broader humanitarian system to contribute to the Charter4Change commitments and moving forward from the World Humanitarian Summit.

 

Project contact:

Paul Johnston, Tearfund UK: [email protected]

For further information about the research contact:

Professor Emma Tomalin, University of Leeds: [email protected]

Dr. Olivia Wilkinson, JLI: [email protected]

SEREDA (Sexual and Gender-based violence in the refugee crisis: from displacement to arrival) is a major new international research initiative led by University of Birmingham’s Institute for Research Into Superdiversity (IRiS) in partnership with Bilkent University, Uppsala University and University of Melbourne. The project aims to understand the incidence and nature of SGBV experienced by women, men and child refugees who have fled conflict in the Levant Region.

One of the SEREDA-attached doctoral research projects is focused on SGBV at the intersection of religion and displacement, it examines the influences of religion on SGBV experiences of women in the refugee journeys.

The specific objectives are

  1. to examine the role of religion in shaping refugee women’s vulnerability toward SGBV;
  2. to explore how religion shapes refugee women’s resilience to cope with their experiences of SGBV;
  3. to examine the ways in which religion, faith and/or spirituality are incorporated in SGBV responses.

 

Data collection is planned in two phases: April-May, 2019 and November-December 2019 in Turkey (Istanbul and Ankara) and online with faith-based and secular SGBV respondents. The project will comply with the University of Birmingham’s research ethics and rigid SGBV research standards.

 

Organizations interested in cooperation and/or learning exchange please contact Sandra Iman Pertek at [email protected] for further information. The project is looking for partners and supporting organizations to help facilitate the research process, e.g. the recruitment of potential research participants. There are also opportunities for co-production and upscaling the research sample.

SGBV & Religion Research Bio

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

JLI Refugee Hub and KAICIID presented a joint webinar on November 20th. Presenting the recent proceedings, learning briefs and action from the Faith Action for Children on the Move Forum along with a case study from Eastern Europe and role of faith communities in refugee response.

Speakers included:

  • Amanda Rives Argeñal, World Vision International,
  • JLI Research Director, Dr Olivia Wilkinson,
  • KAICIID Fellow, Dr. Aleksandra Djurić Milovanović, from the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

The webinar introduced the recent Faith Action for Children on the Move Conference in Rome proceedings and action plan. The Forum Themes were strengthening the Continuum for Child Protection, spiritual support to children and caregivers as a source of healing and resilience and building peaceful societies and combating xenophobia. The Forum coordinators are still taking comments on the action plan until the end of November. For any questions or comments please email [email protected]

The webinar launched the children on the move briefs from the recent Faith Action Forum. See below for links to briefs in English and Italian.

Guest speaker Dr. Milovanović, KAICIID Fellow, focused on the engagement of the faith-based organizations in the Balkans, especially in Serbia, in providing humanitarian aid for the migrants and refugees in the past few years. Alongside other humanitarian organizations, faith-based organizations had significant role in providing assistance for refugees, asylum-seekers and especially for vulnerable categories such are unaccompanied children, minors and women. The level of visibility of the faith-based organizations’ actions is different in each national country. Often, religious communities and their humanitarian organizations engaged in helping refugees take the position of silent, invisible actors. Focusing on response to migration, Dr Aleksandra discussed the issue of multi-religious cooperation in supporting and reception of the migrants and refugees. She also discussed differences in the approach of the faith-based organizations comparing to other humanitarian organizations.

Discussion included questions about faith based organizations response when state said there would be no more support allowed providing refugee aid outside the camps and also is there a means of developing a network so that FBOs are able to make contact when they know a family or individual is moving on? or to simply share information?

Join the next JLI Refugee Hub Meeting on Dec 10 at 2pm GMT (9am ET ).

 

Related Materials:

JLI- KAICIID November 20 Refugees & Migration Webinar PPTWebinar PowerPoint

 

 

 

Children on the Move Learning Briefs (in English and Italian)

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

Partners Forum – Rome, Oct 16-18

JLI co-hosted the Faith Action for Children on the Move Forum with ore than 185 leaders originating from 38 countries and representing 85 organizations gathered at the General Curia of the Society of Jesus in Rome. The forum shared learning around three key evidence-based themes for effective faith engagement to support Children on the Move and to refine and finalize an Action Plan.

The three specific themes, supported by JLI Evidence briefs above, were: (1) Spiritual support to children and caregivers as a source of healing and resilience, (2) Strengthening the continuum of protection for children on the move, and (3) Building peaceful societies and combatting xenophobia.

AnchorThe co-organizing partners and Action Plan committee have opened the Action Plan review process to participants and co-organizing partners through November 30th for comments focused on clarification and factual correction.

Please make comments directly to the document here or send them to [email protected]. All comments will be collated and shared with the Action Plan committee for the final document which will be made available in December.

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

October 10, 2018 –

Next week a diverse group of organisations will come together for a forum at the Jesuit Curia in Rome where they will discuss how faith leaders can work together to end violence against children on the move.

According to UNICEF more than 28 million children around the world have been forced to flee their homes because of violence and conflict, and the violence they experience is the catalyst for the Faith Action for Children on the Move; Global Partners Forum, October 16-18. Ahead of the event, the 14 organising partners said:

“As people of faith, we are in a unique position to address the rights of children on the move.

“Across different faith backgrounds we feel a call and a responsibility to protect and give a voice to these children. Our calling has compelled us to come together, review what we do well and commit to doing more.”

The issue of children on the move has never been more pressing. Between 2005 and 2015 the number of child refugees worldwide more than doubled. The forum will bring organisations together to commit to a collective action plan on how they can work together in the future to protect, nurture and support children on the move.

“Considering that the majority (84% according to the Pew Research Center) of the world’s population identifies with a religious group, people of faith can and should be acknowledged as a powerful force in the world.

“As faith-based organisations, we believe that we are stronger together, together we can reach the most vulnerable, and together we can have a greater impact on more children.

“We recognise that partnering from different beliefs and religions enhances respect for our common values and respective contributions. We condemn xenophobic and discriminatory narratives and reaffirm the need to speak up with words of solidarity, hospitality and love.”

The role of faith in three key areas affecting children on the move will be discussed by the participants at the forum:

  • Building peaceful societies and combating xenophobia
  • Strengthening the continuum of protection for children on the move
  • Providing spiritual support to children on the move and their caregivers, as a source of healing and resilience

“We hope to provide a way for organisations to partner in protecting children on the move and also include children in decision making and programme design processes.

“Children are the hope of humanity and must be protected and enabled to experience life in its fullness and to transform the societies in which they live.

Signed by the 14 organising partners:

ACT Alliance

ADRA

Anglican Alliance

Arigatou International

International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development

Islamic Relief

Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities

Mennonite World Conference

Micah Global

Seventh-Day Adventist Church

The Salvation Army

World Evangelical Alliance

World Council of Churches

World Vision