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.
The 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
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).
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:
International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development
Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities
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’.
This joint webinar features two of KAICIID’s interreligious dialogue programs:
The Network for Religious Muslim and Christian Faculties and Institutes in the Arab World and the partnership in Nigeria to build inclusive and sustainable platforms for interreligious and intra-religious dialogue.
Introduction by Dr Katherine Marshall at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center.
Regional experts Cosette Maiky (Arab Region), and Joseph Tanko Atang (Nigeria) will discuss the process success and challenges of platform development. Experts will also share how platforms can effectively increase engagement with local communities.
Role of youth, women, religious communities in peace and conflict; how to incorporate them in discussions
importance of inclusive representation when convening dialogues globally
Why religious voices matter & how global institutions can support working more effective work with, for and through local communities
Lack of documentation of religious leaders activities
Why interfaith/ intra faith relationships is important as well as relationships between religious and non-religious groups matter
challenge of addressing hate speech
Ownership is needed from local faith communities not just leadership
The DKH provides a virtual learning and networking environment for individuals and institutions, in order to increase the transmission of Interreligious Dialogue/ICD knowledge and skills through capacity-building. The ten e-tools provide users with both theoretical and practical knowledge, information and recommendations on IRD/ICD engagement.
Arab Region Field Expert
Cosette Maiky is the KAICIID field expert for Iraq and Syria and is stationed in Beirut, Lebanon. Her professional experience consists of 10 years of hands-on work in conflict and post-conflict governance in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Philippines, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine and Yemen. Her clients included numerous international and humanitarian organizations (IOM, UNRWA, UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCWA, UNFPA, UNOPS, GIZ, World Vision, ISWAN, JRS, Save the Children, Danish Refugee Council, Oxfam), as well as national, regional and inter-governmental bodies. She holds a PhD and a Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies in clinical psychology in addition to an Executive Master of Education in Psychosocial Intervention in War-Torn Societies.
Joseph Tanko Atang
Nigeria Field Expert
Joseph Tanko Atang is the KAICIID Field Expert for Nigeria. He has been involved in interreligious peace work in Nigeria since 1999. He is an experienced mediator and facilitator who has worked with several national and international organizations in Nigeria such as Search for Common Ground, United Nations Development Program, the Nigerian National Peace Committee, Presidential Reconciliation Commission for the Ogoni/SHELL Corporation Conflict and the HD Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. The focus of Joseph’s work lies in conflict-sensitive approaches to reconciliation and peace efforts. He holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, U.S., and certificates in public information and personnel management. In addition, he has attended many academic and professional training workshops in the United States, Kenya and Nigeria.
Dr Katherine Marshall is a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs and Visiting Professor in the School of Foreign Service. She is Executive Director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue.
Her long career with the World Bank (1971-2006) involved a wide range of leadership assignments. She was Country Director in the Bank’s Africa region, first for the Sahel region, then Southern Africa and led the Bank’s work on social policy and governance during the East Asia crisis years. In 2000 the World Bank’s president appointed her to a newly created post of liaison with faith-based development charities, with the objective of clarifying shared objectives and building trust and coordination.
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
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
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.
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 English, French and Italian. The template is available in English only.
JLI is happy to announce new board members joining the JLI Board of Directors
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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
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.